Chris Murphy has been an outstanding congressman for the people of the 5th District for the past six years, and we believe he would be the best and strongest candidate the Democratic Party could put up for the U.S. Senate seat from Connecticut in the fall election.

Congressman Murphy, who earned the party's endorsement at its convention this summer, is being challenged in an Aug. 14 primary by former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz.

We urge registered Democrats to support Congressman Murphy on Primary Day and make him the party's candidate to square off against the eventual Republican hopeful -- businesswoman Linda McMahon or former Congressman Christopher Shays -- on Nov. 6.

At 39, Congressman Murphy has already served as a legislator for 14 years -- four in the state House of Representatives, four in the state Senate and six in the House in Washington, D.C.

He has proven himself to be a hard-working, conscientious public servant who devotes himself to representing his district's interests and providing strong constituent service.

In an era of bitter partisan bickering in Congress, Congressman Murphy has distinguished himself for his ability to get along well with members of both parties and his leadership of the Center Aisle Caucus that aims to bridge the gap between the two major parties.

Congressman Murphy has taken strong stands on several key issues during his six years in the nation's capital.

Perhaps most notably, he has been an outspoken proponent of national health-care reform and was an enthusiastic supporter of the Affordable Care Act that became law in 2010 and that was recently upheld in the U.S. Supreme Court.

He was a prime mover in successful ethics reform, and he has displayed his willingness to stray from the party line by calling for quicker withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan than proposed by Democratic President Barack Obama.

On the local level, the Cheshire resident is a familiar face in the towns at this end of the 5th District, and he has made a difference in the lives of residents of this part of the state.

In 2009, Congressman Murphy responded to public concerns about a proposed large-scale U.S. Army Reserve training center at the Lee Farm property on Wooster Heights Road in Danbury. In large part through his intervention, a compromise was reached that resulted in a much smaller facility.

Congressman Murphy has also helped homeless veterans get housing, and he has been there time and again for residents with concerns large and small.

Former Secretary Bysiewicz also has a laudable record of public service, and she has similar views on most issues.

But Chris Murphy has been an excellent congressman, he has the potential to be an outstanding successor to outgoing U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, and he gets our endorsement in the Aug. 14 Democratic primary.