Reid Backs Schumer to Replace Him Jockeying begins to determine who will lead Senate Democrats By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Mar 27, 2015 11:33 AM CDT 52 comments Comments Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid with Chuck Schumer on March 17. (AP Photo/Molly Riley) (Newser) – Unless Dick Durbin makes a stink about it, it appears that Chuck Schumer will replace Harry Reid as the Senate's Democratic leader come 2016. In an interview after announcing that he would not run for re-election, Reid tells the Washington Post that the New York senator is his pick. "I think Schumer should be able to succeed me," he says. Schumer is currently the No. 3 Democrat, with Illinois' Durbin ahead of him as minority whip. But Reid spoke to Durbin today by phone and tells the Post that Durbin will step aside for Schumer. Neither Schumer nor Durbin has made an official comment on succession plans, but Schumer's team has long made it known that he would try to replace Reid whenever he stepped down, reports the Hill. One other name being mentioned frequently as a contender is the fourth-ranking Democrat, Patty Murray of Washington state. Even before Reid's endorsement, however, Schumer was the heavy favorite, notes the Hill.