A new political era took the helm in Portsmouth on Monday night.
All elected officials of the Portsmouth Town Council and School Committee were officially sworn into office at Town Hall. The newly elected officials are mostly Democrats, who won big on election night after defeating several Republican incumbents.
Girl Scouts began the evening ceremonies with the Pledge of Allegiance and "Star Spangled Banner."
Outgoing members of the town council made closing remarks except Judi Staven, who was absent.
Outgoing council President Joseph Robicheau thanked the Portsmouth Concerned Citizens (PCC), his wife and the bartenders of Fieldstones Grille for "staying open late."
Senator-elect Chris Ottiano and Reps.-elect Dennis Canario, John Edwards and Linda Finn presented citations to Kesson and Robicheau.
Judge J. Terence Houlihan Jr. swore in the new officials.
Town Councilors taking the oath of office were John F. Blaess, Michael A. Buddemeyer, David M. Gleason, Keith E. Hamilton, Mary Donohue Magee, Elizabeth A. Pedro and James A. Seveney.
School committee members taking the oath of office were Emily A. Copeland, Terri-Denise Cortvriend, Andrew V. Kelly and John L. Wojichowski.
Kathleen M. Viera Beaudoin was sworn into office as town clerk. Philip T. Driscoll took the oath to serve as town sergeant, a position that created some buzz in the audience. According to several residents, the position is not listed in the town charter.
After the official swearing-in ceremony, the town council elected James Seveney as the new council president in a 7-0 vote.
The town council also elected John Blaess as vice president. The vote was 7-0.
The first town council meeting of the new session will be held this Saturday at 10 a.m. at Town Hall.