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Minn. Senate Majority Leader Stepping Down

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — State Sen. Amy Koch (COKE’) says she’s stepping down as Senate majority leader and won’t seek reelection next year.

Koch made the surprise announcement Thursday in a letter to fellow Republican senators and GOP staff. The Republican from Buffalo didn’t directly give a reason but wrote that the past year was “challenging, exciting and exhausting.”

Koch did not immediately respond to a message left on her cell phone.

As the top Senate Republican, Koch was a face of the party during last summer’s budget standoff with Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton that led to a government shutdown. She was new to leadership after recruiting a slate of GOP candidates who knocked off Democratic incumbents in 2010 and handed Republicans control of the Senate for the first time in decades.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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