RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The incoming leader of House Democrats says he and his colleagues will continue to challenge the Republican majority at the North Carolina Legislature to do what is best to improve people's lives in the state.

The House Democratic Caucus meeting Wednesday elected Rep. Larry Hall of Durham as the minority leader for the next two years. Hall said he was the only candidate and won by acclamation. Hall is a former Marine Corps officer who joined the House in 2006 and served as a caucus whip since 2009.

Hall takes the leader's job at a low point for Democrats in the state as Republicans control both the executive and legislative branches for the first time since 1870 starting next month. Democrats will hold just 43 of the 120 House seats.

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