Larson elected Democratic Senate leader

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by Laura Matovina

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Sen. Chris Larson of Milwaukee has been elected as Democratic leader in the state Senate.

Larson was chosen Tuesday during a closed-door meeting of Democrats who are in the minority in the Senate heading into the 2013 session. Larson was challenged by state Sen. Jon Erpenbach for the leadership post.

Erpenbach is a 14-year veteran of the Senate who previously served as minority leader a decade ago. The 32-year-old Larson was just elected in 2010 and has emerged as one of Gov. Scott Walker's sharpest critics.

Larson says he is committed to working with Walker and Republicans in the majority. Larson says he intends to be a voice for the middle class.

Republicans hold an 18-15 majority in the Senate. The Republican leader is Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau.

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