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Republican Chris Norby became the state's newest assemblyman today, taking the oath to replace Mike Duvall, who abandoned the seat last September after his private boasts of sexual conquest were captured on audiotape at a public meeting.

Norby was sworn in by newly elected Assembly Republican leader Martin Garrick with the assemblyman's wife, Martha, by his side.

During the brief Capitol ceremony, Norby held his family Bible, which he had been given as a young child at a Presbyterian Church.

The 60-year-old Fullerton resident displayed a sense of humor after learning, after the swearing-in, that he had inherited the minuscule, fifth-floor office jokingly derided as the Capitol's "doghouse."

"Cozy is good," Norby quipped.

Dozens of Norby's Orange County supporters and at least two GOP legislative colleagues, Garrick of Solana Beach and Ted Gaines of Fair Oaks, attended today's ceremony on the Assembly floor.

Norby, a former member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, will represent portions of Orange County, including Anaheim, Brea, Fullerton, La Habra, Orange, Placentia and Yorba Linda, in the 72nd Assembly District.

Norby defeated Democrat John MacMurray and Green Party candidate Jane Rands in a January special election.

A former teacher, Norby also has served on the Fullerton City Council, the Orange County Transportation Authority and the Orange County Sanitation District, among other public boards or commissions, according to his campaign Web site.

Norby becomes the 29th Republican member of the 80-member Assembly.

Because Duvall's two-year term would have expired this year, Norby must run in the June primary and November general election to retain the Assembly seat until 2012.

Norby and his wife have four children -- Alex, 19; Ana, 11; Gary, 9; and Iris, 8.


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