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Under an Abraham Lincoln painting, Rep. Torrey Westrom of Elbow Lake stands in as Minnesota House Speaker. He likely is the first blind person in the country to act as a speaker. Photo by Don Davis, Forum Communications.

Historic moment as Westrom takes speaker's chair

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By Don Davis

State Capitol Bureau

ST. PAUL -- Torrey Westrom hopes his historic moment helps other Americans.

The Minnesota state representative stood in as House speaker Tuesday afternoon, apparently the first time a blind person ever to run state House debate anywhere in the country.

"If nothing else, hopefully, it will motivate people who have a challenge in their life," the Elbow Lake Republican said after his experience.

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