Jones, a former federal prosecutor, was joined by his family and former Vice President Joseph Biden, a friend, as he was sworn in on the Senate floor by Vice President Mike Pence. Jones defeated Roy Moore last month in a special election to fill a seat vacated by Jeff Sessions.
Smith, who most recently served as lieutenant governor of Minnesota, also was joined by her family, former Vice President Walter Mondale and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), the state’s senior senator. Franken officially resigned on Tuesday in the wake of allegations of groping.
Jones’ victory leaves Republicans with a narrow 51-49 majority in the Senate. Smith was appointed to the seat by Gov. Mark Dayton and will fill it at least until a special election in November.
“The voices of Sens. Jones and Smith will add to the diversity and energy of our caucus, and I predict that both will grow to become influential voices in this historic chamber,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said after their swearing in.
Jones and Smith also took part in a ceremonial swearing in in the Old Senate Chamber. Mondale clapped after Pence administered the oath. Biden hugged Jones after he was sworn in.
When he presided over the swearing in ceremonies as vice president, Biden seemed to relish meeting family members and posing for pictures.
When a photographer shouted to Biden, “Welcome back,” he answered, “Good to be back.”