Virginia’s new GOP governor promises to restore confidence

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – In a tone of bipartisanship and optimism, Virginia’s new Republican governor, Glenn Youngkin, promised to “restore …

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – In a tone of bipartisanism and optimism, Virginia’s new Republican governor, Glenn Youngkin, promised to “restore confidence in government and restore power to the people” when he was sworn in Saturday in Richmond.

“Today we stand together on behalf of the Virginians, who have never lost faith, even when they suffered losses. About Virginians who have not stopped dreaming of a better life, even in the midst of trials and tribulations,” he said before the historic State Capitol to thousands of enthusiastic spectators. “My others in Virginia, Virginia’s spirit are alive and well. And together we will strengthen it. ”

“Whoever you voted for, I promise to be your lawyer, your vote, your governor,” he said.

Youngkin’s opening speech marked a weekend of pomp and splendor as Virginia’s newly elected Republican leaders took office. In addition to Youngkin, the newly elected Attorney General Jason Miyares and the elected lieutenant governor Winsome Earle-Sears were sworn in during an outdoor ceremony

The moment opens a new chapter of governance in a state where Democrats spent the last two years in full control.

Youngkin talked about the hardships caused by COVID-19 over the past two years and promised to lead the state while the virus continues to rage.

“We stand here on January 15, 2022, filled with hope and optimism for the years to come. This hope and optimism stems from a shared vision of the future, and also from knowing what we have been through,” he said. is very aware of the struggles that the Virginians have endured over the last two years, struggles that we continue to face. “

Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin and his wife Suzanne Youngkin arrive before his inauguration ceremony, Saturday, January 15, 2022, in Richmond, Va. (Photo by AP / Steve Helber)

Youngkin also outlined his campaign themes, promising to cut taxes, “remove politics from the classroom,” raise salaries for teachers and law enforcement, and boost the economy. He also promised to keep children in schools, even though the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is on the rise in Virginia and around the country.

“We know that when our children do not go to school, it harms their learning and development. So let me be clear – we need to keep our kids in school 5 days a week, “he said.

Shortly before the ceremony began, Virginia’s former governors met with Youngkin and outgoing Democratic governor Ralph Northam inside the Capitol. All living governors except Youngkin’s opponent, former Governor Terry McAuliffe, were present. McAuliffe tweeted that he and his wife were “in quarantine due to close COVID contact for health and safety reasons.”

The Youngkins and Northams also attended a cordial key exchange ceremony. Northam offered Youngkin his congratulations.

Youngkin, a former private equity director and political newcomer, makes his remarks after being sworn in as the state’s 74th governor.

He defeated McAuliffe last year by mobilizing voters concerned about education and race, while gaining small gains with suburban voters and other key groups to help his party rise in a state that has long had a trend blue.

Miyares and Earle-Sears both wrote history – the former as the first Latino to serve in the position, and Earle-Sears as the first colored woman to serve in a nationwide office.

A traditional inauguration parade started after the ceremony. Participants include members of the Virginia National Guard, Virginia college and high school students, NASA representatives and law enforcement, according to Youngkins’ transition team.

A party is planned for Saturday night, which will feature a performance by the Zac Brown Band.

The first of Youngkin’s inaugural weekend events kicked off Friday morning as the elected governor attended a service event with local officials helping to create an area along the Richmond Slave Trail, a tribute to the city’s critical role in the domestic slave trade.

On Friday night, members of the General Assembly hosted a welcome reception at a downtown hotel ahead of a $ 10,000-a-ticket reception with candles, a black tie and dinner at a science museum.

Funeral breakfasts were held Saturday morning prior to the inauguration, and the weekend was scheduled to end Sunday with an open house at the Executive Mansion.

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