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story.lead_photo.caption Breanne Davis (left) of Russellville is congratulated after being sworn in as a state senator to fill a vacancy in the District 16 seat. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Dan Kemp officiated at the ceremony at the state Capitol. - Photo by John Sykes Jr.

Sens. Breanne Davis and Ricky Hill on Tuesday were sworn into office by Arkansas Chief Justice Dan Kemp with their families and friends and more than 20 senators on hand.

Both senators said their immediate goals are to get acclimated and educated about serving in their positions.

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"Hey, I just want to find my way around the Capitol first," said Hill, a Republican from Cabot. "This will be a learning process for a while, to just kind of figure out what's going on and how everything is going on, and how they do things."

Hill fills the Senate District 29 seat that became vacant with the Nov. 15 resignation of Eddie Joe Williams, R-Cabot, who accepted President Donald Trump's appointment to the Southern States Energy Board. Hill will serve through January 2021 to complete the four-year term to which Williams was elected in November 2016. District 29 includes parts of Faulkner, Lonoke, Pulaski and White counties.

Hill, 50, is executive vice president of the Bank of Ozarks and a former member of the Cabot School Board.

Davis, a Republican from Russellville, fills the Senate District 16 seat that became vacant with the Nov. 16 death of Greg Standridge, R-Russellville, after his battle with cancer. She will serve through January 2021 to complete the four-year term to which Standridge was elected in November 2016. District 16 includes Newton and Pope counties and parts of Boone, Carroll and Van Buren counties.

Davis, 35, is a senior account executive with the North Carolina-based global analytics firm SAS Institute and formerly served on the Russellville School Board.

Davis will be No. 33 in the Senate in seniority and Hill will be 34 based on a drawing, said Senate Director Ann Cornwell.

One more vacancy remains in the 35-member Senate. The District 8 seat is vacant because of the Feb. 8 resignation of Jake Files, R-Fort Smith. Files resigned after he pleaded guilty to felony charges of wire fraud, money laundering and bank fraud for pocketing state money he obtained for a Fort Smith ball-field complex and for pledging a forklift he didn't own as collateral on a bank loan.

A special election will be held Aug. 14 to fill the District 8 vacancy through mid-January 2019.

In the Nov. 6 general election, the Senate seat will be filled for a four-year term starting in mid-January.

The Senate now has 25 Republicans and nine Democrats, plus the vacancy.

Metro on 06/20/2018

Print Headline: State's 2 newest senators sworn in

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