There's a new face on Capitol Hill today, and he's riding in on a wave of optimism for Democrats.

Congressman-elect Mark Critz (D-Pa.) will be sworn-in at a ceremony on Capitol Hill Thursday at 2:15 p.m., House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) office said Wednesday.

Critz defeated Republican candidate Tim Burns in a special election to replace long-time Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), the former chairman of the House defense appropriations subcommittee, who passed away in February.

Democrats touted Critz's victory as a sign that they are in good shape heading into the fall elections. Republicans had hoped to take Murtha's former seat, a white blue-collar district that voted heavily for GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008.