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Updated Nov 7, 2012 - 9:36 am

Arizona lawmakers to start filling leadership slots

PHOENIX -- 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.

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