Kamala Harris was sworn in to the U.S. Senate Tuesday. Photo: Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Before friends and family in a packed chamber, Kamala Harris was sworn in as California’s newest U.S. senator Tuesday. As such, she became the first black woman California has ever elected to the post, and the first Indian American to ever serve in the chamber.

The Democrat and former California attorney general was sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden, alongside Sen. Dianne Feinstein and her new Senate colleagues.

“It is a great honor to serve the people of California in the Senate, and I look forward to the work ahead.” Harris said. “There is no doubt that our country is at an inflection point in our history, one where we are challenged to stand up for the ideals of our nation. My message to those who are uncertain about the future is this: I intend to fight for our state and all our families. I’ve got your back.”

Harris, the daughter of immigrants from India and Jamaica, was among seven new members of the Senate who joined those who won re-election. She defeated fellow Democrat Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez by a wide margin in November’s general election. There are two new Republican senators and five Democrats. The Republicans are Indiana Sen. Todd Young and Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy. The Democrats are Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen, New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan, Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Harris.

Harris’ husband, Los Angeles attorney Doug Emhoff, her stepchildren, brother-in-law Tony West, sister Maya Harris, extended family as well as several state officials from across the country who traveled watched from the gallery.

Also on Tuesday, Gov. Jerry Brown nominated Xavier Becerra to replace Harris as California’s next attorney general, beginning what is likely to be a smooth confirmation for the longtime Democratic congressman who has taken a combative stance against President-elect Trump.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.