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An early leadership fight is brewing in the Senate Republican Caucus as two members begin jockeying to succeed Senate GOP leader Bob Dutton.

Sens. Joel Anderson and Bob Huff have both told other members that they are interested in serving as leader of the 15-member Republican Caucus. Dutton, who is termed out next year and considering running for Assembly, has yet to signal when he will step down from the leadership job.

But discussions about the future began to heat up this week.

"There has been some desire to start that move but there's no resolution," said Huff, the vice chair of the Senate Budget Committee.

Huff said he does not think now is the best time for a leadership battle, but confirmed his interest in becoming Senate minority leader.

"I am interested if the caucus is willing to support me, absolutely," the Diamond Bar Republican said.

Anderson spokesman Jim Kjol declined comment on whether the Alpine Republican is vying for votes to become leader, saying only "Senator Anderson is a strong supporter of Senate Republican leader Bob Dutton."

Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Moorpark, called Anderson and Huff "the two naturals" to take the reins as caucus leader.

"They're both well respected within the caucus... Dutton hasn't expressed his timeline (for stepping down), but both of those members are very well respected," he said.

Bee colleague Kevin Yamamura contributed to this report.


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