Vice President Mike Pence, not pictured, administers the oath of office to Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, as her husband Thomas Daffron holds a Bible, during a reenactment ceremony in the Old Senate Chamber at the Capitol in Washington, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021. Credit: Kevin Dietsch / Pool via AP

WASHINGTON — Maine Sen. Susan Collins has been sworn in for her historic fifth term in Washington.

Collins was sworn in Sunday by Vice President Mike Pence, who offered an elbow bump instead of a handshake in light of the coronavirus pandemic. She was joined by her husband, Tom Daffron, and escorted in the Senate Chamber by former Maine Senator and Secretary of Defense Bill Cohen, according to her office. Cohen represented Maine for 18 years in the Senate and six years in the House. Collins worked for him for 12 years.

“I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to the people of Maine for once again giving me the opportunity to serve,” Sen. Collins said. “It was an honor to be accompanied to the swearing-in ceremony today by my friend, Secretary Cohen, a dedicated public servant who provided our state and our nation with many years of dedicated service.”

Collins defeated former Democratic Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon by 9 percentage points in November in a tough reelection fight that featured astonishing levels of spending by the candidates, their allies and outside groups.

Collins was the first popularly elected U.S. senator from Maine to win a fifth term. She finished her fourth term never having missed a roll call vote.

BDN’s Rosemary Lausier contributed to his report.