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Britt sworn in as Alabama’s newest U.S. senator

U.S. Sen. Katie Britt was sworn into office Tuesday, becoming the youngest Republican woman to serve in the U.S. Senate.

Britt, 40, took the oath of office along with other senators who were elected in November. She replaced longtime Sen. Richard Shelby, 88, who announced his retirement after six terms in the U.S. Senate. Britt was Shelby’s chief of staff before leaving to take the helm of a state business lobby.

“It was a humbling moment to take the oath of office today on the Senate floor,” Britt said in a statement. “I am truly grateful to the people of Alabama for their trust, confidence, and prayers. Now, it’s time to get to work to fight for our people, our liberties, and our values.”

Britt is one of the youngest members in the U.S. Senate. She is the first Republican woman to hold one of the state’s Senate seats and the state’s first elected female senator. The state’s previous female senators, both Democrats, had been appointed.

Fueled by deep pockets and ties to business and political leaders, Britt ran under the banner of “Alabama First” and secured the GOP nomination after a heated and expensive primary that went to a runoff with former U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, who had and then lost former President Donald Trump’s support. Britt then easily won the November election.

Her history-making win came after she was discouraged from running. Britt, in an earlier interview about her campaign, said that before she got in the race, that people ranging “from CEOs to people in the grocery store” told her she couldn’t win, “because of my age, because my gender because of where I was from in the state.”

“I think our race shows that hard work matters, listening to people matters, and people want someone that understands what’s going on and they can look at and say, “I believe that she is going to fight every single day to put us back in the right direction.”

In her victory speech Britt called herself a “Mama on a mission.” The mother of two said many parents are “wrestling with the fact that we believe that our children may have less opportunity and less freedoms than we did.”

The Republican National Committee announced in November that Britt would be a part of a new Republican Party Advisory Council to inform the party’s 2024 “vision and beyond.” The group was formed after a disappointing midterm cycle for Republicans, and will focus on issues including reaching younger voters and suburban women.

Rep. Dale Strong, who replaced Brooks as the representative in north Alabama’s 1st Congressional District, also was sworn in Tuesday. Strong was the chairman of the Madison County Commission.

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