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Wisconsin lawmakers select new majority leader

Source: Reuters - Tue, 4 Mar 2014 22:35 GMT
Author: Reuters
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(Updates will new majority leader selected, background)

By Brendan O'Brien

MILWAUKEE, March 4 (Reuters) - Wisconsin Republican lawmakers selected a new majority leader on Tuesday after unanimously voting to remove Bill Kramer from the post amid sexual harassment allegations against him, according to party leadership.

Assembly Republicans chose Patricia Strachota as majority leader after voting 57-0 to remove Kramer, who has held the post since September, according to Speaker Robin Vos' office.

Strachota, who has been in office since 2004 and represents West Bend, a city some 35 miles (56 km) north of Milwaukee, becomes the first woman in the state's history to hold the post, according to Vos.

As majority leader, the second-highest post in the Assembly behind the speaker, Strachota will lead the chamber's day-to-day activities.

Strachota announced in February that she will retire at the end of the year, when the legislative session is complete.

A woman accused Kramer, 49, of harassing her last Wednesday during a fundraiser thrown by a lobbying and public relations firm in Washington, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The paper said another woman accused him of harassing her on the flight back to Wisconsin on Thursday.

Kramer's office released a statement on Saturday, saying he had entered a treatment facility.

Kramer's office was not immediately available for comment on Tuesday's developments.

Kramer is a lawyer and certified public accountant who has represented communities west of Milwaukee since 2006. (Editing by Scott Malone and Gunna Dickson)

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