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Karen Camper voted first African-American leader in Tennessee House of Representatives

Tennessee House Democrats have selected leadership for the upcoming legislative session, choosing Rep. Karen Camper in a historic election for House minority leader.

Camper, D-Memphis, becomes the first African-American to serve as Democratic Party leader in the House. She replaces House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley, who did not seek re-election to his West Tennessee seat.

Fitzhugh ran unsuccessfully in this year's Democratic gubernatorial primary after serving more than two decades in the Tennessee General Assembly.

"I am honored by the faith the Caucus has shown in me and I pledge to bring the type of aggressive leadership needed to advance legislation that promotes the Democratic agenda," Camper said in a statement.

She highlighted "quality health care and economic opportunities for all Tennesseans" as legislative priorities.

Camper, a retired U.S. Army chief warrant officer, was first elected to the legislature in 2008. 

The House Democratic Caucus voted on its new leadership in a meeting Sunday, days after House Republicans on Tuesday nominated Rep. Glen Casada, R-Franklin, to become the next Speaker of the House. 

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