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Sempolinski, Ryan sworn in to fill vacant congressional seats


New York’s newest congressmen, Pat Ryan (D-19) and Joseph Sempolinski (R-23) were sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday.  

Ryan, speaking to WSKG shortly after posing for a photo with his family and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, said he was proud, yet humbled upon finally being sworn into Congress.

“It's overwhelming,” Ryan said. “It's overwhelming, and so humbling really to have my family here, my two young kids here. I got a little emotional in my remarks.”  

The freshman lawmaker has to face voters again in just two months as he runs for a full term in the newly drawn 18th Congressional District. Despite his reelection bid, Ryan said he’s focused on setting up his congressional office and getting constituent services up and running.

“Critical constituent services that we have to deliver on, that's priority number one,” Ryan said. “There are several veterans’ medical centers under threat in our district that I'm going to be fighting for.”

At the ceremony, Ryan congratulated his new Republican colleague, Joe Sempolinski who was sworn in to fill out the term in the 23rd Congressional District. While he isn’t seeking reelection, Sempolinski’s also promising to focus on keeping constituent services running and representing the district.

“It means a lot, because you're speaking for about three-quarters of a million people and these are the three-quarters of a million people that have given me everything,” Sempolinski said. “This is my home.”

Vaughn Golden has been reporting across New York since 2016. Working as a freelancer while studying journalism and economics at Ithaca College, Vaughn has reported for a number of outlets including the Albany Times Union, New York Post, and NPR among others. Prior to coming to WSKG full-time, Vaughn was a reporter for the Watertown Daily Times. Vaughn now covers government and politics for WSKG.