OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Republican Sen. John Braun has been elected by his caucus to be the new Senate minority leader. Braun, of Centralia, replaces Sen. Mark Schoesler, who announced this week he was stepping down from his leadership role after eight years but would remain in the the chamber as a senator. Braun was unanimously elected to the leadership post during Wednesday’s Republican caucus vote, as were other caucus leaders. Sen. Ann Rivers was elected as caucus chair and Sen. Shelly Short was re-elected as floor leader. Sen. Keith Wagoner will step into Rivers’ place as floor whip.