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Democrats Jones, Smith sworn in as senators1-3-18 4:12 PM EST

By Julie Bykowicz

Newcomers from Alabama and Minnesota vow to strive for bipartisanship

Two political newcomers were sworn into the nation's most elite deliberative body Wednesday, with both Democrats vowing to work toward bipartisanship in a deeply divided U.S. Senate.

Tina Smith, who resigned at midnight as Minnesota's lieutenant governor, becomes the state's junior senator. She takes office a day after Democratic Sen. Al Franken resigned amid sexual misconduct claims. She becomes the 22nd woman in this Senate, a record number.

Democrat Doug Jones, who notched an upset win last month in Alabama, was sworn in to take the seat once held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Jones's special-election victory winnowed Republican control of the chamber to 51 seats, while Democrats control 49.

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

01-03-18 1612ET

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