State Sen. Stanley Rosenberg of Amherst, a veteran Democrat, appears to have won the succession fight in the Senate to become the next Senate president.

Rosenberg says he has enough support to succeed Senate President Therese Murray.

“Over the last several weeks, there has been a quiet debate in the Senate with regard to a succession plan, and I now have an overwhelming majority of the democratic caucus to have me replace the senate president when she retires from the post,” Rosenberg said.

Rosenberg says he will take over from Murray when her term expires in January 2015, although many Beacon Hill observers believe Murray will leave before that.

Rosenberg's top competition for the leadership post was Senator Stephen Brewer of Barre, the Ways and Means committee chair.

Brewer sent out a statement on Wednesday, saying he knows Rosenberg will "do a fine job as Senate President when that time comes.”

Governor Deval Patrick praised Rosenberg, but seemed most concerned about not undermining Murray.

"As far as I know the Senate President is the Senate President for the foreseeable future, and I look forward to continuing to work with terry murray and her successor, whoever that may be when the time comes.

Rosenberg’s record is more liberal than Murray’s and his rise to the top leadership post could move the senate to the left.  But Rosenberg would not disclose his legislative agenda and said, at this point, Murray is still in charge.

Rosenberg would be the first openly gay Senate president in Massachusetts history. He grew up in foster care in Revere and Malden and graduated from the University of Amherst in 1977.