l-r; Karen Camper, London Lamar and Rick Staples. Photo submitted

By Vivian Shipe

KNOXVILLE, TN — An historic event occurred in Tennessee following the recently held election.

Rick Staples from Knoxville who easily won a second term was elected the Assistant Minority Leader of the 111th General Assembly. First elected in 2016, during his freshman year he was able to get many bills passed and secure funding for his 15th district. He returns to Nashville ready to serve under and assist another history maker, Karen Camper.

Karen Camper from Shelby County was elected the first African American woman to serve as Minority Leader. She is a veteran, having served as an army intelligence officer.

They are joined by another history making African American woman; London Lamar; one of the youngest house representatives ever elected and  a member of the first EMERGE Tennessee graduating class. Lamar was elected as the Democratic Caucus Secretary.