Salem's Joan Lovely took her seat in the Senate chamber Wednesday to officially start her tenure on Beacon Hill.
Lovely was sworn in by Gov. Deval Patrick during a brief ceremony and then took her first vote to return Therese Murray to the Senate presidency -- it was a unanimous vote.
The 54-year-old Lovely, a longtime and popular Salem city councilor, defeated Peabody opponents John Slattery and Mary-Ellen Manning along with Salem's Ed Carroll during the Democratic Primary in September.
She then easily beat Beverly Republican Richard Jolitz in November for the 2nd Essex District seat.
The seat was long held by by Peabody's Fred Berry, who retired last year after 30 years in the Senate. Lovely is also the first woman to hold the office.
The Salem News reports that many of Lovely's family and colleagues from the City Council, along with Beverly Mayor Bill Scanlon (Lovely's original hometown) and Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, attended Wednesday's ceremony as well, loudly cheering once Lovely was sworn in.
Lovely told the paper she was "thrilled" and spoke again of her efforts to knock on doors all across Peabody, Salem, Beverly, Danvers and Topsfield during the campaign. She said she is dedicated to her constituents and addressing their concerns.