By John Howard | 06/23/11 9:00 PM PST

The state’s uncertain budget future grew even murkier Thursday amid reports of a leadership battle in the Senate Republican Caucus.

Numerous Capitol sources confirmed a fight was underway to replace Sen. Bob Dutton, R-Rancho Cucamonga, who told his fellow Senate Republicans he intends to run for state Assembly. That has set off a leadership fight between Sens. Bob Huff, R-Walnut, and Joel Anderson.

It was unclear what role, if any, the state budget talks were playing in this power struggle, though the entire Senate GOP caucus did appear with Dutton at an impromptu Capitol press conference Thursday. GOP sources said they did not think the leadership fight was directly related to negotiations.

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