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Washington, D.C.– With Vice President Dick Cheney administering the oath of office, Lt. Governor Jim Risch became U.S. Senator Jim Risch on Tuesday, replacing retired Senator Larry Craig.

"I am truly humbled and honored to serve Idaho as a U.S. Senator," said Risch. "It was a privilege to serve as Idaho's 31st Governor and now I have been given the honor of being the 11th person to hold this Senate seat. To follow some outstanding Idahoans who served the state so well – Jim McClure, Len B. Jordan, Henry Dworshak and William Borah – is a great responsibility. I accept it with a tremendous amount of gratitude and eagerness for the challenges ahead."

With the ceremony taking place at noon Eastern Time in the Senate chamber, Senator Risch had his resignation letter as Idaho's Lt. Governor delivered to Secretary of State Ben Ysursa at ten minutes to ten Mountain Time. Copies of the letter were also delivered to Governor Otter and leadership of the Idaho House and Senate.

"I enjoyed my time as Idaho's Lt. Governor and the opportunities it provided me in serving Idaho. The twenty-two years that I served in the Idaho Senate was thoroughly enjoyable and will help me with the legislative process in the U.S. Senate. I am ready to get to work with Senator Mike Crapo on the important issues facing our country," Risch said.

Senator Risch and his wife, Vicki, will rent an apartment in the Capitol Hill area.