It's official: Marti Coley is the news state representative for District 7. Coley was sworn into office Tuesday afternoon.
It was a somber and somewhat bittersweet moment at the House Tuesday as the widow of former State Rep. David Coley was sworn in to represent the constitutes of District 7.
Rep. Marti Coley said, "I miss David more than I could explain, but having the opportunity to serve in his seat and finish his term and to continue his legacy and honor him is something that is very important to me and very important to my children."
Marti Coley, who won the District 7 seat by over 80 percent of the vote in a special election, is already thinking of ways to fulfill her husband's dream of economic development in the Panhandle.
"I want to meet with local leaders as well as on the state level in bringing business to this area. It would be nice to bring some businesses that offer a higher salary so our children don't have to leave this area to find work."
House Speaker Allan Bense has wasted no time putting Coley to work as well. He immediately assigned the 20-year teaching veteran to the pre-k through 12 committee.
"We need to take a look at even the FCAT. It's a necessity. It's even a wonderful tool. We need to have accountability, but I think every day we have to look at improving every aspect of education."
Coley told the crowd of supporters and representatives on hand that her term will be spent doing what her husband loved to do most, and that was helping other people.
Coley has a year and six months left on her term. She says she hasn't decided yet on running for a second term.