By SUSAN HAIGH, Associated Press
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Chris Murphy took the oath of office on Thursday to become Connecticut’s newest U.S. senator, replacing the retiring Joe Lieberman.
In Washington, Murphy was escorted down the center aisle of the Senate by fellow Democrat, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, to take the oath from Vice President Joe Biden. He later signed the Senate’s Oath Book, which contains the names of all senators.
Murphy told The Associated Press in a phone interview before the ceremony that he was thrilled to walk with Blumenthal.
“Not only was he a big part of helping me get to this day, but I’m part of a generation of public servants in Connecticut who looked up to the example that Blumenthal set,” Murphy said. “It’s a real honor for me to be able to get sworn in today to represent the people of the state, but also do it next to somebody I’ve looked up to for a long time, Dick Blumenthal.”
The 39-year-old Murphy will be the youngest member of the Senate. He and his wife, Cathy, have two young sons. They were expected to be on hand for a ceremonial swearing-in later in the day where pictures are allowed to be taken.
Murphy, the former 5th District congressman, defeated Republican Linda McMahon in November. McMahon had run against Blumenthal two years ago and lost that race as well. The former wrestling executive spent a total of about $100 million of her own money on the two races combined.
Murphy was expected to sit at Lieberman’s desk in the Senate for the opening day of the session. But his desk will be moved elsewhere in the Senate based on his seniority. Murphy said he expects he will be ranked 91st or 92nd out of 100 senators. His time served in the U.S. House of Representatives will be counted toward his ranking in the Senate.
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