Philip Scott Andrews/The New York Times
WASHINGTON — During his campaign for office, Bob Turner preferred to describe himself as a citizen candidate and businessman. Now he can call himself something else: a congressman.
Two days after his victory in a special election in New York’s Ninth District, Mr. Turner was officially sworn in Thursday on the floor of the House. His arrival at the United States Capitol capped a highly improbable political ascent that has stunned the political world and raised new questions about President Obama’s political standing.
House Speaker John A. Boehner swore in Mr. Turner, a Republican, just before 11 a.m., after a clerk read a letter from the New York State Board of Elections declaring that he had won, and after the dean of the New York delegation, Charles B. Rangel, a Democrat, attested that Mr. Turner’s victory was not in doubt.
Mr. Turner was surrounded not only by his family, but also by the largely Democratic New York state congressional delegation, and Mr. Rangel vowed to work across party lines with Mr. Turner.
“We are not partisan in working together for our districts,” Mr. Rangel said. “We all welcome the honorable Bob Turner in joining our group, and we in this state delegation look forward to working with him.”
Representative Peter T. King, a Republican of Long Island, acknowledged the rarity of swearing in a Republican member of Congress from New York City — there had been only one, Michael G. Grimm, in the current delegation until Mr. Turner’s swearing in.
“This is not something we’re used to doing in New York,” Mr. King said. “But it’s a great moment.”
Mr. King said that Mr. Turner, who has 5 children and 13 grandchildren, “will make an outstanding congressman” and “a great fighter for the people of New York.”
Mr. Turner was greeted with a standing ovation, and he spoke briefly, saying, “It’s with true humility that I accept this awesome responsibility, and I pledge not to forget how I got here.” He called his victory, in predominantly Democratic neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Queens, “an important bipartisan election,” which, he said, is “the only way it can be done in New York City.”
After his swearing-in, Mr. Turner appeared with Mr. Boehner in the speaker’s ceremonial office, where a small army of cameramen and photographers had gathered. Mr. Boehner greeted Mr. Turner’s family and congratulated Mr. Turner on his victory; Mr. Turner thanked him heartily.
Mr. Turner’s Washington debut felt like a family vacation: when he posed for photographs with Mr. Boehner, he was surrounded by more than a dozen relatives, including nine grandchildren, all of whom rushed here in the last 24 hours.
A moment later, the festivities were over: Mr. Turner’s family was ushered to the speaker’s office, while Mr. Boehner prepared for his photo op with Representative Mark Amodei, Republican of Nevada, who also won a special election on Tuesday and was also sworn in on Thursday morning.
A few minutes later, Mr. Turner’s wife, Peggy, stood in an octagonal antechamber outside Mr. Boehner’s office and said she was very proud of her husband.
“This has just been amazing, the fact that we could win this the way we did,” she said. “We had so many volunteers. People were so enthusiastic, and so happy with the results.”
Mr. Turner drove to Washington late Wednesday night after attending a gala dinner for the state Republican Party in Manhattan, where party leaders heaped praise upon him. He planned to spend most of his first day at the Capitol attending meetings with lawmakers and other officials.
In an appearance on Fox News early Thursday morning, Mr. Turner described his election as “quite an upset” and said that voters “spoke loud and clear of their dissatisfaction with the course the country is on.”
“We made this a referendum,” Mr. Turner said. “If you are happy with the way things are, vote Democratic; continue the way we’re going. And if you think not, I’m your guy.”