Two new members of San Diego's congressional delegation were sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner Thursday.
Scott Peters and Juan Vargas, both Democrats, will begin their freshman terms following November election victories. Democrats will hold a 3-2 majority among local members of the House of Representatives.
Vargas, who resigned his state senate seat Wednesday, was a Jesuit priest before entering a life of politics, serving on the San Diego City Council and as a state representative before becoming San Diego's first Hispanic representative in Congress.
He earned 70 percent of votes cast in November and will fill the seat of Bob Filner, the 10-term Democratic congressman who gave up his seat to make a successful mayoral bid.
Following redistricting made final last year, Imperial Beach has left the 53rd District represented by Congresswoman Susan Davis to join the 51st Congressional District represented by Vargas.
The 51st, like the 40th State Senate Distrct that was represented by Vargas until Wednesday, spans the entire California-Mexico border, and includes portions of San Diego's East County and Imperial County.
Peters, a former port commissioner and ex-member of the San Diego City Council, unseated Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Solana Beach, by a narrow margin in an election that wasn't decided until about a week after voters went to the polls. Bilbray was mayor of Imperial Beach from 1978 to 1985.
Peters said he was "honored and eager" to take office.
"Personally, it will be the culmination of an exciting year for my family and me," Peters said. "But mostly, I am enthusiastic about getting to work for San Diego."
He said his wife and two children joined him at the ceremony. He also
attended a bipartisan prayer service at St. Peter's Catholic Church in
Washington, D.C., and held an open house at his Capitol Hill office.
Peters has been assigned to the House Armed Services Committee, while Vargas will join the Foreign Affairs Committee.
San Diego County is also represented by Rep. Susan Davis, D-San Diego; Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, R-El Cajon; and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista.
City News Service contributed to this report.