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CORRECTION California Senat.JPG All 40 desks in the state Senate will now be occupied, with Democrat Ted Lieu, and Republican Sharon Runner sworn in this morning as the newest members of the upper house.

Lieu and Runner, both former members of the Assembly, won Tuesday's special elections to fill the 28th and 17th Senate Districts. The morning swearing-in ceremony on the Senate floor ended months of Senate vacancies created by election to other offices, appointments and deaths.

"For the first time in many, many months, we will have a full house, a full Senate," Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said before administering the oath of office.

Runner, who fills the seat vacated by her husband George Runner's election to the Board of Equalization, said her recent term as an appointee on the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board reinforced her priority to foster job growth and economic recovery.

"We have too many unemployed Californians and this is unacceptable," Runner, of Lancaster, said, "I will work hard to do what I can to bring jobs back to California."

Lieu fills the seat vacated by the October death of Democratic Sen. Jenny Oropeza, whom he praised as a "courageous, passionate senator."

"I look forward to working with all of my colleagues here, with the governor and the people of California in crafting a budget that moves us forward," the Torrance Democrat said.

PHOTO CREDIT: State Senators Sharon Runner, R-Lancaster, second from left, and Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, third from left, are sworn-in to office at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, Feb. 18, 2011. Also seen are Lieu's wife, Betty, right and son Brennan, 7.Rich Pedroncelli, Associated Press.


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