Minnesota Democrat Tina Smith Sworn In As US Senator
The Republican majority in the Senate narrowed to 51-49 today as two new Democratic senators were sworn into office.
Vice President Mike Pence administered the oath of office to Tina Smith from Minnesota and Doug Jones from Alabama this morning.
Smith, the former lieutenant governor of Minnesota, was appointed to replace Al Franken following the Democrat’s resignation over accusations of sexual misconduct. She becomes the 22nd woman currently serving in the Senate, a record.
Jones is the first Alabama Democrat elected to the Senate in a quarter century. His victory over Republican Roy Moore made national headlines.
Jones will represent one of the most conservative states in the nation and is stressing his desire to work with both parties. He will be under pressure to find some areas of agreement with Republicans and has cited the funding of infrastructure improvements as one possible avenue. Jones said he is hopeful that he comes to the Senate with a “little bit of a voice” because of the attention on the Alabama race.
Smith served as chief of staff to Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton before becoming his No. 2 when the previous lieutenant governor declined to seek a second term. Smith is known largely as a liberal Democrat who has maintained connections to the state’s large and politically powerful business community.