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The two newest members of North Dakota’s congressional delegation were sworn into office on Thursday afternoon.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., was walked down the Senate aisle by her Democratic predecessor, Kent Conrad, and retired Sen. Byron Dorgan for her swearing-in ceremony lead by Vice President Joe Biden.

Over in the House, Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., was sworn in by Republican House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio.

Heitkamp thanked Conrad and Dorgan for their service and for taking part in her swearing-in.

“I am so honored and humbled today to be sworn into the United States Senate representing the great state of North Dakota,” Heitkamp said in a statement. “I look forward to getting right to work for the people of North Dakota as we look to tackle some major issues facing our state and country in the weeks and months ahead.“

Heitkamp replaces Conrad, who retired after more than 26 years in office.

Along with Heitkamp, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Deb Fischer of Nebraska were among the newcomers sworn in, raising the number of women in the Senate to a record 20.

Cramer said in a statement that he plans on getting to work immediately on such issues as the upcoming debt ceiling.

“I am blessed to have the honor and opportunity to serve as the next congressman from North Dakota,” Cramer said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues and constituents to make our nation and North Dakota as strong as possible.”

Cramer replaces Republican Rick Berg, who was elected in 2010 and narrowly lost in a Senate race against Heitkamp.

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Reach Nick Smith at 250-8255 or 223-8482 or at nick.smith@bismarcktribune.com.

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