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Andy Tobin, Steve Pierce get Ariz. legislative leadership roles again

The Prescott region will retain two leadership positions when the 2011 session of the Arizona Legislature opens in January.

Rep. Andy Tobin of Paulden moved up from majority whip to House majority leader, while Sen. Steve Pierce of Prescott retained his position as Senate majority whip.

House and Senate Republicans elected their leaders in closed-door meetings Wednesday, one day after the general election.

Both Tobin and Pierce will be responsible for gathering party votes on bills important to the Republicans.

Republican senators elected Russell Pearce as Senate president. Pearce is best known for his legislation against illegal immigration, including SB 1070. Scott Bundgaard will be the Senate majority leader.

"Our focus will be the economy," Pierce said in a written statement. "We need to get this financial house in order."

The incoming House Republicans re-elected Kirk Adams as House speaker. They chose Rep. Debbie Lesko of Glendale as majority whip.

"It has been my honor to serve the Republican majority in the Arizona House as majority whip, and to have the confidence of my Republican house colleagues," Tobin said in a written statement. "I look forward to working with them along with the Senate and our governor to restore Arizona's economy.

"Together, we will continue to fight against a federal government that should now take a lesson from Arizona on reducing government and getting back on the right track."

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