(UPI) — Democrats Tina Smith and Doug Jones were officially sworn in as U.S. senators on Wednesday, reducing the Republican majority to 51-49.
Smith was appointed to the Minnesota seat left vacant by former Sen. Al Franken, who stepped down after sexual misconduct allegations surfaced against him.
A special election will be held in November for the final two years of Franken’s term, a race Smith said she plans to enter. The election for the seat’s full six-year term will take place in 2020.
Jones won last month’s special election in Alabama by a slim margin against Republican Roy Moore. Sen. Luther Strange was appointed to hold the seat after former Sen. Jeff Sessions became attorney general.
Alabama’s state canvassing board certified Jones last week as winner of the special election, despite Moore filing a lawsuit contesting those results claiming election fraud.
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