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Mass. lawmaker takes seat, makes history

| Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, 8:57 p.m.
Rep.-elect Katherine Clark (right) is accompanied by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a fellow Massachusetts Democrat, during her ceremonial swearing-in on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Rep.-elect Katherine Clark (right) is accompanied by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a fellow Massachusetts Democrat, during her ceremonial swearing-in on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

BOSTON — Democrat Katherine Clark was sworn in Thursday as the state's newest member of Congress and the fifth woman elected to the House from Massachusetts.

Clark took her oath of office on Thursday on the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, joined by Rep. Richard Neal, Sen. Edward Markey and other members of the state's all-Democratic congressional delegation.

Clark easily defeated three opponents in Tuesday's special election. She resigned from her Melrose state Senate seat on Thursday. An April 1 date has been set for a special election to fill that seat.

Clark will represent the state's 5th Congressional District, which stretches from the coast to communities north and west of Boston, including Waltham, Framingham and Medford.

The seat opened this year when Markey won a special election to fill what had been Secretary of State John Kerry's Senate seat.

In brief remarks after the swearing-in, Clark thanked her family and vowed to work for the needs of all families in the district and across Massachusetts looking for “a fair shot at the American Dream.”

“Our families want to be able to find a good job, send their children to great schools, save for college and count on a secure retirement,” she said. “They want to know that the issues they talk about around their kitchen tables will be the same issues on the table here in Congress.”

She also talked about what she described as the diversity and strengths of the district, which she said is home to teachers, small-business owners, CEOs, machinists and “respected universities and innovative companies.”

“We are recent immigrants and descendants from early American settlers and yes, deep in the heart of Red Sox Nation, we even have a few Yankees fans,” she added.

Clark's swearing-in marks the first time that three women are representing Massachusetts in Congress at the same time.

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