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MANATEE -- As Angelina "Angel" Colonneso stood near, Manatee Circuit Judge Edward Nicholas said he wanted to say what everyone in the courtroom was thinking.

"No doubt Chips would be incredibly proud as he looks down upon his protege and his friend, who is now about to take the oath of office," the judge told a crowd of Colonneso's family members and supporters.

Colonneso, of Bradenton, was officially sworn in Friday as Manatee County's first female clerk of the circuit court. The 47-year-old had been serving as interim clerk for Manatee County until appointed to the position last week by Gov. Rick Scott.

The moment was even more meaningful because it happened inside the R.B. Chips Shore Historical Courtroom, named after Colonneso's predecessor and the man who helped prepare her for this position.

Shore served as county clerk of court and comptroller from 1977 until his death in late July. He was 74.

After being sworn in, Colonneso thanked judges, hers and Shore's family, court employees -- and the late Shore.

"He hired me as a college student and he was my biggest cheerleader next to my parents. He even made sure when I returned home on my summer breaks from law school that I had a summer job working in the office," Colonneso said.

Shore allowed her to grow professionally, she said. Thanks to him, Colonneso said she pushed herself beyond what she ever thought possible.

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