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Ariz. lawmakers to start filling leadership slots


PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona legislators on Wednesday begin holding closed-door party caucuses to pick leaders for the next two years.

The process starts with Republicans who saw their majorities shrink in Tuesday's general election.

Senate President Steve Pierce faces a challenge from current Majority Leader Andy Biggs, a conservative who a year ago suggested that the state drop out of the federal Medicaid program.

In the House, Speaker Andy Tobin faces a possible challenge for the top leadership post from Steve Smith, a senator who won a House seat Tuesday.

House and Senate Democrats are scheduled to hold their separate caucuses on Thursday.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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