Hunt ousted as leader of Oregon House Democrats

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Democrats in the Oregon House have ousted Dave Hunt of Gladstone as their leader.

House Democrats chose Tina Kotek of Portland as their new leader on Thursday, hours after the Legislature adjourned its 2011 session.

Hunt was the House Speaker in the 2009 legislative session and helped push major initiatives through the Legislature, including a massive transportation project and an expansion of children's health care.

But he was also a polarizing figure, especially for his role in pressing tax hikes on businesses and wealthy Oregonians. Voters upheld the tax hikes after a contentious referendum campaign.