RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY/AP) — Governor Glenn Youngkin was sworn into office on the steps of the Capitol building Saturday afternoon, marking the first time in over a decade that a Republican was sworn in as governor.
Youngkin, who grew up in Hampton Roads, included the community in big ways as part of his historic inauguration.
“Today we stand together on behalf of Virginians who’ve never lost faith, even when they suffered loss. Of Virginians who have not stopped dreaming of a better life, even in the midst of trials and tribulation,” he said in front of the historic state Capitol to thousands of enthusiastic spectators. “My fellow Virginians, the spirit of Virginia is alive and well. And together we will strengthen it.”
Youngkin’s inaugural speech was part of a weekend of pomp and circumstance as Virginia’s newly elected Republican leaders took office. In addition to Youngkin, Attorney General Jason Miyares and Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears were sworn in during an outdoor ceremony.
“No matter who you voted for, I pledge to be your advocate, your voice, your governor,” said Youngkin, a former private equity executive and newcomer to politics.
The ceremony included a performance by Norfolk’s Governor’s School for the Arts. The students sang “America the Beautiful.”
Barrett Bourgeois, the son of U.S Navy Commander Brian Bourgeois who died in a Virginia Beach training accident, led the Pledge of Allegiance.
State Senator John Cosgrove (R), who represents parts of several Hampton Roads cities, helped sing the national anthem.
Miyares and Earle-Sears both made history — the former as the first Latino to serve in the position and Earle-Sears as the first woman of color to serve in a statewide office.
They both represented Hampton Roads in Richmond.
Miyares previously served as an assistant commonwealth’s attorney in Virginia Beach and became the first Cuban American to be elected to the Virginia General Assembly when he won the vacant Virginia Beach House seat in 2015.
Sears, who was the first Black Republican woman to be elected to the Virginia General Assembly, represented Norfolk in the House of Delegates from 2002 to 2004.
As part of the parade, the varsity basketball team from Norfolk Academy threw Youngkin a basketball as they walked by. Youngkin was a two-time team captain and won a state championship with Norfolk Academy.
Watch the full ceremony in the player above.
Saturday’s ceremony included a traditional blessing of the ground by representatives of Virginia’s Indian tribes and a prayer led by Youngkin, who is deeply religious and who made his faith a key part of his campaign.