PHOENIX - Arizona House and Senate Democrats chose leaders Thursday who are likely to continue to push the same priorities as before, but they hope with a bit more success because of increased numbers.
Senators selected Leah Landrum Taylor of Phoenix as minority leader, moving up from the No. 2 slot after current Minority Leader David Schapira didn't seek re-election.
Linda Lopez of Tucson was selected assistant minority leader in the Senate, with Anna Tovar of Tolleson as whip.
In the House, Democrats kept current Minority Leader Chad Campbell, also of Phoenix.
Landrum Taylor said Capitol observers should expect no major changes in how Senate Democrats operate.
One priority is working with Republicans.
While Republicans remain the majority, their edge dropped from 21-9 to 17-13. Landrum Taylor said that should mean an increased role, especially in preparing the budget.
A top priority, she said, will be restoring the cuts to education, especially since voters defeated Proposition 204, which would have created a permanent 1-cent-per-dollar sales tax surcharge, with most of the funding for K-12 education.
In the 60-member House, Campbell will lead anywhere from 24 to 26 Democrats, depending on the outcome of close races, up from just 20 for the last two years.
Ruben Gallego of Phoenix is assistant House minority leader, with Tucsonan Bruce Wheeler as whip.