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With friends, family and supporters gathered in the Senate Gallery, Shawnee attorney Charlie Laster was sworn in by State Supreme Court Justice Joseph M. Watt on Monday. Laster succeeded Brad Henry as the District State Senator, who was in midterm when he was elected governor. This is a proud day for my family and for me. Its an honor I dont take lightly and I pledge to do the very best job I possibly can representing District , said Laster. Among those offering their congratulations to the new legislator was Senate President Pro Tempore Cal Hobson. Although Senator Laster is new to this body, I already know him to be a man of character, determination and intelligence. Im confident his perspectives and talents will be tremendous assets to the Senate during the next two years, said Senator Hobson. With session already in full swing, Senator Laster has a full schedule. Hes been appointed to several key committees, including Appropriations, Education, Judiciary, General Government and Transportation Subcommittee on Appropriations, Energy, Environment and Communications, as well as the Retirement and Group Health Committee. Im well aware that this is going to be an extremely tough session. Weve got literally thousands of people in my district alone depending on state services along with the biggest revenue shortfall in the history of the state and a constitutional mandate to write and pass a balanced budget. It wont be easy, but we will all work together to get the job done. I believe once our economic recovery is underway, the decisions we make this session will make our state stronger in the long run, said Laster.