Rep. Clyburn of S. Carolina Will Chair Black Caucus
Clyburn, 58, a low-key, three-term lawmaker, was the only candidate running to succeed Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.). He will serve a two-year term coinciding with the next session of Congress beginning in January.
Clyburn, the first black person since Reconstruction to represent South Carolina in Congress, also becomes the first southerner to head the caucus, founded in 1971, which represents the interests of the 38 black House Democrats, including two nonvoting delegates elected earlier this month.
The one black Republican in Congress, Rep. J.C. Watts (Okla.), is not a member of the caucus.
Clyburn, in an interview, said his priorities include seating of more black federal judges, particularly in the South, protecting the environment in minority areas, maintaining affirmative action programs and achieving a more accurate census.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus also chose a new leader yesterday, electing Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) to succeed Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.).
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