HARTFORD - The room thundered with applause and cheers as Gayle Slossberg's name was called. The gallery of the state senate was just as full of well wishers as was the senate floor.

When Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz called Slossberg's name during roll-call, she announced that in addition to Slossberg, she was calling on the three younger senators as well who were sharing the senators seat. Referring to Slossberg's children that surrounded the new senator.

Gayle Slossberg - D -14 Milford, won election to her new post when she beat incumbent Winthrop Smith - R this past November by 2,000 votes including winning in his home town of Milford.

The 14th senatorial district includes Milford, Orange, and parts of West Haven.

On hand to witness the swearing in was Orange First Selectman Mitchell Goldblatt.

"It was a wonderful and exciting being there. As I looked down on the senate I saw Gayle being sworn in for the same senate seat I ran for in 1986. She is the first Democrat to hold that seat since 19981. I wish her much success," Goldblatt said.

Patricia Pearson was also in attendance and said the volumn of supporters present spoke volumns about Slossberg.

"You can judge a leader by the number of followers they have. Gayle certainly had many supporters (in attendance)," Pearson said.

Also sworn in for a first term was state Rep. Paul Davis - D - 117. While the floor of the House of Representatives was more congested and the applause was not as deafening, Davis's wife Debbie was at his side.

"Paul is the first Democrat from Orange in a long time to hold the seat. Paul's activities in town and at Amity have prepared him well for the challenges ahead. He is very energetic and ethical," Goldblatt said.

.Davis said he knows the next two years will require lots of work on his part but he is ready for the task.

"I look forward to hard work, difficult challenges, some failures, but many successes in bringing about positive changes for the people of our area and all of Connecticut," he said.

Davis said that the clean sweep in leadership following the conflicts of the former governor will hopefully make it easier to work cohesively.

"I anticipate the change in leadership in both houses of the General Assembly will allow for a new start in a bipartisan effort to break some of the legislative logjams of the previous session," Davis said.

"For a new legislator the past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity culminating in a very impressive opening ceremony. While none of the speeches presented concrete solutions for many issues we face there was an atmosphere of optimism that we can come to a consensus in finding some of the answers," Davis said.

Taking the thunder from both the House and Senate was Republican Governor M. Jodi Rell who addressed the full assembly for the first time as their leader.

Six days earlier Rell was released from Danbury Hospital having undergone a full mastectomy with reconstructive surgery.

After thanking the public for its outpouring of support Rell called on the democratically controlled legislature to work alongside the Republicans to support Stem Cell Research and strengthen Ethics reform.

Davis said he is optimistic that Gov. Rell will work with both parties in the best interest of the residents of Connecticut.

"There is great respect and admiration for Gov. Rell's courage and optimism in the face of challenging health problems. During the past six months she has proven herself to be a popular and ethical leader. I hope some of this good will can be translated into substantial results," Davis said.