Senate President Don Gaetz forcefully pledged that the Legislature will do something to avoid election embarrassment in two years, while also promising to reach out to Democrats and usher in a new era of more ethical conduct as he leads the Senate the next two years. Gaetz, a Republican from Niceville, was sworn in Tuesday as the 85th president of the state Senate as the Legislature held a short organizational session to admit new members elected earlier this month, and formally choose its leaders, though they’ve been known for months. The day also saw the Legislature’s 120 representatives and 40 senators taking their oaths of office two weeks after they were elected or re-elected.
Rep. Dave Hood, a Republican representing District 25, which stretches from Ormond Beach to Port Orange along the coast, called it a humbling day.
“I’m very grateful for the experience,” the former Ormond Beach mayor said. “There’s a lot I hope to do, and I look forward to getting to work.”
David Santiago, R-Deltona, was sworn in for the House District 27 seat that represents southern Volusia, from DeBary to Oak Hill.
“It was a good ceremony, a lot of talk about bipartisanship. I hope that holds true when we start getting down to work,” he said, while driving home Tuesday afternoon. “I still feel the same. I just feel like I’ve got another job to do.”