PHOENIX — Senate Republicans on Tuesday ousted Scott Bundgaard as their majority leader.
The closed-door vote came after the Peoria Republican acknowledged that his highly publicized fight with his now-former girlfriend had become a distraction from the day-to-day business of the Senate.
"I serve at the pleasure of my caucus,'' Bundgaard said. "They've made a decision to support someone else for majority leader.''
Bundgaard said he provided the invitation for the other 20 Senate Republicans to remove him.
"We're in a very critical part of the session right now in producing a budget,'' he said. "They don't need the distraction of my personal problems.''
He also said that relieving him of the duties of being the No. 2 person in the Senate will give him more time to deal with the ongoing police investigation about that incident three weeks ago in the median of a Phoenix freeway.
Republicans later picked Sen. Andy Biggs, of Gilbert, as their new majority leader.
Biggs, a dry-humored conservative whose political ideology reflects some near-libertarian leanings, said he'll remain as Appropriations Committee chairman through the budget process.
Biggs said he didn't campaign to be elected majority leader.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.