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Carter sworn in as House member to replace Richmond, padding Democrats' majority

Carter sworn in as House member to replace Richmond, padding Democrats' majority
© Greg Nash

Rep. Troy Carter (D-La.) was sworn into office on Tuesday after winning a special election to fill the vacancy left by now-White House adviser Cedric RichmondCedric RichmondTrey Gowdy sets goal of avoiding ideological echo chamber with Fox News show The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden faces pressure amid infrastructure negotiations Buttigieg acknowledges 'daylight' between White House, GOP on infrastructure MORE.

Carter officially becoming a House member slightly boosts Democrats' razor-thin majority with 219 seats over Republicans' 212. Democrats can now afford up to three defections and still pass legislation on their own without any support from Republicans.

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Carter, who served as the minority leader in the Louisiana state Senate, won a special election runoff on April 24 to serve out the rest of Richmond's House term.

Carter had won the most votes in an all-party primary election in March, but fell short of the 50 percent threshold needed to win the race outright. He then defeated fellow Democratic state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson in the runoff election a month later.

Richmond resigned in January to serve as a senior adviser to President BidenJoe BidenPutin says he's optimistic about working with Biden ahead of planned meeting How the infrastructure bill can help close the digital divide Biden meets Queen Elizabeth for first time as president MORE and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.

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Richmond was on hand in the Capitol on Tuesday to attend Carter's swearing-in, as was Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D).

Four House vacancies still remain, with some expected to remain unfilled for months.

Like Richmond, former Reps. Deb HaalandDeb HaalandOvernight Energy: Biden seeks to reassert US climate leadership | President to 'repeal or replace' Trump decision removing protections for Tongass | Administration proposes its first offshore wind lease sale Biden administration proposes its first offshore wind lease sale  Haaland calls on US to address legacy of Native American boarding schools MORE (D-N.M.) and Marcia FudgeMarcia FudgeOn The Money: Democrats wary of emerging bipartisan infrastructure deal, warn of time crunch Progressives relish return to in-person events On The Money: Key takeaways from May jobs report | Biden rejects new GOP infrastructure offer as talks drag on MORE (D-Ohio) both left the House to join the Biden administration to serve as Interior and Housing and Urban Development secretary, respectively.

The other two vacancies resulted from former Reps. Alcee HastingsAlcee (Judge) Lamar HastingsHouse Democrats unveil .9 billion bill to boost security after insurrection Carter sworn in as House member to replace Richmond, padding Democrats' majority Democrats cool on Crist's latest bid for Florida governor MORE (D-Fla.) and Ron WrightRon WrightHouse Democrats unveil .9 billion bill to boost security after insurrection Carter sworn in as House member to replace Richmond, padding Democrats' majority Unsuccessful anti-Trump Republican candidate: GOP 'not living up to this moment' MORE (R-Texas) dying while still in office.

Scott Wong contributed.