WASHINGTON, D.C. (WHNT) — Katie Britt was sworn into the U.S. Senate Wednesday, replacing now-former Senator Richard Shelby, who held the seat for 36 years.

Britt is the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate, and the first female Republican to serve in Alabama’s history. Dixie Bibb Graves and Maryon Pittman Allen both served Alabama in the upper chamber, though they were both Democrats and only served on an appointed basis.

“I am truly grateful to the people of Alabama for their trust, confidence, and prayers,” Britt said. “Now, it’s time to get to work to fight for our people, our liberties, and our values.”

Senator Britt was sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris. She was escorted to the swearing-in ceremony by Senator Tommy Tuberville, Alabama’s now senior member of the U.S. Senate.

Britt’s office reported nearly 500 Alabamians traveled to the nation’s capital to celebrate the occasion.

“It will be my mission every day in the Senate to be a leader who looks to identify and implement tangible, meaningful solutions to the serious challenges and opportunities facing both Alabama and America, so hardworking families can thrive in strong communities,” Britt continued. “Looking up to the gallery from the Senate floor today and seeing my two children smiling down at me reminded me what this is all about – preserving the American Dream for generations to come.”

Britt previously served as an aide to Shelby and as President of the Business Council of Alabama. She defeated U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks and Black Hawk pilot Mike Durant in the Republican primary, earning the endorsement of former President Donald Trump.

Britt defeated Democrat Will Boyd and Libertarian John Sophocleus in November’s election.

To contact Senator Britt’s office, call 202-224-5744 or visit britt.senate.gov.