African American leaders in Arizona fear their political presence is fading.

The impending retirement of State Sen. Leah Landrum-Taylor could leave Arizona as one of a handful of states with no African-Americans in the Legislature.

The Arizona Republic reported Landrum-Taylor marked the beginning of her final legislative session on Tuesday.

Since 1950, there has been at least one African American in either the state House or the Senate.

African Americans trying to build political clout face several challenges, such as a lack of candidates and a small voting population across the state.

While Landrum-Taylor said she will run for secretary of state, no African American candidates have emerged for any statewide or legislative office.