"Congratulations," said state Sen. Hannah Beth Jackson to her new colleague, Steve Glazer, as he arrived in the back of the Senate chamber on Thursday morning.
"Or maybe," she added, "it's condolences."
It seemed like a lighthearted moment, an ice breaker of sorts after Glazer's bitter political fight with his fellow Democrats that ended with his victory in a special election on May 19.
Gov. Jerry Brown, who Glazer served as a top political adviser for years, administered the oath of office in a brief ceremony. Minutes later, the Orinda Democrat cast his first vote on a piece of legislation to applause from his fellow senators.
While legislators taking office in special elections have become fairly commonplace in California, Glazer's arrival in the Legislature is far from that. Labor unions and the state Democratic Party worked hard to defeat Glazer in his runoff against Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla (D-Concord).