Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax sworn in

Elias Hubbard
January 14, 2018

The peaceful transition of power finished on the steps of the Virginia State Capitol as Ralph Northam took the oath of office, becoming Virginia's 73rd governor.

His election was widely considered a repudiation of President Donald Trump's administration.

Northam, a pediatric neurologist who served as Virginia's lieutenant governor, also touched on the opioid crisis and reforming gun control laws in his Inaugural address.

"Virginia has told us to end the divisiveness, that we will not condone hatred and bigotry, and to end the politics that have torn this country apart", he said. Northam said the tradition-bound military academy with a strict honor code continues to help guide his actions.

Linda Cunningham from Virginia Beach came with her daughter Lindsay, a Northam campaign volunteer, to the inauguration.

Northam also pledged to govern in the mold of his immediate predecessor, Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat who made economic development a key focus of his term.

Northam said the work starts now, and the way ahead in Virginia starts tomorrow. And the economic, political and cultural divides within the state appear to be growing, particularly between its rural and urban areas. Chris Perdieu said he didn't vote for Northam, and both expressed concern that he would push to remove the statue of Confederate Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson at VMI. "But no other place on earth can claim it", he said. When he was running for lieutenant governor, Fairfax said he'd work to increase education funding and teacher salaries. He added that he thinks Virginia and the country are moving in the wrong direction on health care.

Several groups are taking part in the ceremony, including James Madison University's marching band, the Virginia Military Institute Corps of Cadets and an oyster shucking champion.

In his inaugural address to a crowd of about 5,000 outside the state Capitol on a day of stinging cold, Northam reflected first on his childhood on the Eastern Shore, the time he spent fishing and crabbing on the Chesapeake Bay and the advice he received from his father.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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