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PHOENIX -- Arizona Senate Democrats have ousted their leader during a closed-door vote that revealed fractures in the minority party's ranks.

The Arizona Capitol Times reports Minority Leader Landrum Taylor of Phoenix was removed Tuesday on an 8-5 vote. Sen. Anna Tovar replaced her as minority leader.

Landrum Taylor told the Capitol Times the move was racist and disrespectful. Four other Democrats in the 13-member caucus walked out with her after she was removed.

Tovar represents Tolleson and says as a Latina woman it is clear the move was neither racist nor sexist.

Landrum Taylor is running for Secretary of State. She said members told her she couldn't be an effective leader while running for statewide office.

Lynne Pancrazi of Yuma was named assistant minority leader and Steve Gallardo minority whip.

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Information from: Arizona Capitol Times, http://www.arizonacapitoltimes.com

Associated Press,

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