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The final chapter in the removal of an incumbent California state senator — the first since 1914 — played out in Sacramento on Monday, as Sen. Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar) filled the sudden vacancy by taking the oath of office.

Chang was selected by voters in the state’s 29th Senate District to replace Josh Newman, a Fullerton Democrat who was recalled from office in the same election. Newman had narrowly defeated Chang in 2016 and was only two years into his four-year term when voters removed him on June 5.

Newman became the face of GOP anger over California’s new gas tax increase, passed by the Legislature last year to fund transportation projects. He was a key vote for the plan, and lost the recall election by 58% to 42%.

“Voters were clear that we need someone in Sacramento to protect taxpayers, and I’m prepared to fight tax increases wherever I see them,” Chang said in a written statement. Her arrival in the Senate was coincidentally on the same day state elections officials announced a formal repeal of the gas tax increase had qualified for the November statewide ballot.

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