BOSTON (State House News Service) — Surrounded by friends and family, Rep. Kristin Kassner of Hamilton was sworn in Friday after eight weeks of nail-biting back and forth over the election results in her House race.
Following a recount, Kassner edged former five-term Republican Rep. Lenny Mirra by one vote.
The recount flipped Mirra's 10-vote lead, leading to a legal challenge on about two dozen ballots Mirra believed were improperly counted and did not have matching signatures. The contest ended after a special House committee concluded on Tuesday that the chamber should officially seat the Democrat.
Nodding to Kassner's one-vote victory, Gov. Maura Healey said before she swore in the representative, "it's yet another affirmation that every vote counts."
Healey, Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll, Reps. Sean Garballey of Arlington, Don Wong of Saugus, Manny Cruz of Salem and Kenneth Gordon of Bedford joined Kassner in the governor's office Friday morning for the ceremony.
"I see a lot of family and friends represented, which is terrific, and hailing from a district that I have a particular partialness to, as you can imagine," Healey said. The governor spoke in her inaugural address about her ancestors landing on a river bank in Newbury, one of the towns Kassner now represents.
Those who came to support the new representative cheered after she was sworn in by the governor.
Kassner has worked for the past decade as planning director for the town of Burlington, and she served as president of the American Planning Association's Massachusetts chapter.
Gordon, who represents the town of Burlington, said he and the newly-sworn representative have been friends for 10 years.
"She's been the planning director of the town of Burlington, and she's done an amazing job, and will do an amazing job as representative. She's the hardest working candidate, and the longest working candidate," Gordon said, to laughs from those in the room.
With Kassner's inauguration, the House has all of its 160 members almost a full month after the majority of the chamber was sworn in.