Source: Associated Press

Iowa's newly sworn-in Sen. Joni Ernst says she is thrilled to be getting down to business.

Ernst was officially sworn in Tuesday morning in Washington. The Republican from Red Oak was joined for the ceremony by Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley and former Sen. Tom Harkin, the Democrat whose retirement created an opening for Ernst.

Ernst says she is excited to be working for Iowans and pledged to protect the state's farmers and push for government efficiency.

Ernst scored a decisive victory in November, helping the GOP take control of the Senate. She started the race as a relatively unknown state senator but soared to national stardom, promoting her farm upbringing and role as a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard.

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