Darin LaHood is new state senator for the 37th District

DeWayne Bartels
Darin LaHood takes the oath of office. Standing next to him is his wife, Kristen and son, Teddy, 4. Standing in front from left is son, Lucas, 6, and son, McKay, 8.

 Darin LaHood was sworn in at 8:15 a.m. today as the new 37th District State Senator today, replacing the retiring Dale Risinger.

The early morning ceremony was the occasion for a joke by Judge Steve Kouri.

“This early in the morning we usually have a different crowd in this courtroom,” Kouri said to a packed gallery.

LaHood planned to head to Springfield to begin his education as a new senator  after the swearing-in.

“I have a lot to learn. I have a lot of listening to do in Springfield. I have not been to the capital in Springfield in 30 years,” LaHood said.

LaHood, 42, got the nod for the job on Saturday. He was selected from a field of candidates that included retiring Metamora High School Superintendent Ken Maurer.

LaHood was a congressional staffer for four years in Washington, D.C. He was a federal prosecutor in Las Vegas for eight years and spent the past five years as a local attorney representing various municipalities.

He was selected unanimously in the first vote of the seven county Republican chairmen that make up the district — Peoria, Stark, Henry, Woodford, Knox, Bureau and Marshall counties.

LaHood said he felt humbled by the appointment, and said he plans to get right down to work.

“This is a political position, but this job is about public service and making a difference in communities. I look forward to the challenge,” LaHood said.