Sen. E.J. Pipkin (R-Queen Anne’s) emerged Tuesday as the new minority leader in the Maryland Senate following a vote by the chamber’s 12-member caucus.

Sen. Edward R. Reilly (R-Anne Arundel) will take over as the minority whip, the position Pipkin has held.

The leadership changes were prompted by last month’s decision by Sen. Nancy Jacobs (R-Harford) to step down as minority leader after just 10 months on the job. Jacobs said at the time that she wants to focus her efforts on running for a different office, possibly Congress or Harford County executive.

In a statement Tuesday, Jacobs said: “I wholeheartedly endorse the new leadership team, and look forward to working with them as we move forward.”

Republicans are small but vocal minority in the 47-member chamber.

Pipkin, a member of the Senate since 2003, said that under his leadership Republicans would be “committed to fighting for the jobs and property rights of hard-working Maryland families.”

Reilly is relatively new to the chamber, having been appointed to the Senate in 2009 and winning election in 2010.