PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The widow of a Philadelphia state lawmaker this past week took the oath of office to succeed her late husband in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Democrat Maria Donatucci (photo center) won a special election to fill the seat of her late husband, the long-time representative from the 185th House District, which includes part of southwest Philadelphia and a small sliver of Delaware County.

Robert Donatucci died unexpectedly in November. House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody praised him as a “quiet force” in the House who got much done, “Today, ‘Donatucci’ is back up on the board, and it makes us all very happy.”

Shortly after taking the oath as a new member, Maria Donatucci told her new House colleagues that she was filled with mixed emotions.

“I feel honored today to have the opportunity to continue the legacy and hard work of my loving husband, a person who I strongly supported for many years from behind the scenes.”

Maria Donatucci remembered her husband as an “amazingly wonderful person both politically and privately.”

Reported By Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio.

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