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Assembly majority leader loses post; New leader named

MADISON, Wis. - Republicans in the Wisconsin state Assembly have removed the majority leader from his post amid allegations that he groped one woman and verbally abused another during a trip to Washington last week.

The GOP lawmakers unanimously voted to strip state Rep. Bill Kramer of his leadership post during a meeting Tuesday. Kramer checked into a treatment facility for an unspecified reason on Saturday and wasn't present at the meeting. He hasn't commented on the allegations.

Majority leader is the second most powerful position in the Assembly after the speaker.

Republicans picked Rep. Pat Strachota to replace Kramer as leader over challenger Rep. Mary Williams, of Medford. The ballot is secret and only the results were reported.

Both Williams and Strachota previously announced they were not seeking re-election this year.

Kramer, of Waukesha, was elected to the Assembly in 2006 and was chosen as majority leader in September. The Republicans hold a 60-39 majority in the Assembly.

Strachota will serve as majority leader for the final days of the session this month and through the end of the year. All 99 Assembly seats are up for election this fall.

A new leader would then be elected in January.

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