May 4, 2016 at 8:23 PM CDT - Updated July 10 at 1:50 PM
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Republican Rep. Phil Williams of Huntsville says he is challenging Mike Hubbard to be speaker of the House, saying he, and others, believe the House needs fresh leadership.
The announcement, made in a letter to House members, came as several Republican legislators called for Hubbard to step down as he heads to trial on ethics charges.
Williams wrote that he shares a sentiment that the House can't operate effectively with current leadership.
Rep. Allen Treadaway said the ethics case has become a distraction and that Hubbard should step aside. Treadaway said he was bothered by emails included in court filings that show Hubbard soliciting work.
The call to step down is a contrast to how lawmakers rallied around Hubbard after his indictment.
Hubbard blamed the division on recent budget fights.
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