WASHINGTON (AP) – The Congressional Black Caucus tapped Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick yesterday as its chairwoman for the next two years, when black lawmakers will wield more power in Congress than ever.

Kilpatrick (D-Mich.) a former school teacher and the mother of Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, was chosen unanimously. She succeeds Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.).

“Watch for us,” Kilpatrick told reporters. “We will take this caucus to another level.”

Because Democrats will be in control when Congress convenes a new session Jan. 4, the 43-member caucus will take up a historic slate of leadership positions, including the third-ranking member in the House, Majority Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina.

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) will chair the House Judiciary Committee.

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