Inaugural weekend will usher in Virginia's new GOP leaders

A weekend of pomp and circumstance is underway in Richmond as Virginia’s newly elected Republican leaders are set to take office

Via AP news wire
Saturday 15 January 2022 06:01 GMT
Virginia Governor Inauguration
Virginia Governor Inauguration (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

A weekend of pomp and circumstance is underway in Richmond as Virginia s newly elected Republican leaders are set to take office.

Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin, Attorney General-elect Jason Miyares and Lieutenant Gov.-elect Winsome Sears will be sworn in Saturday afternoon during an outdoor ceremony in front of the historic state Capitol.

The moment will open a new chapter of governance in a state where Democrats spent the past two years in full control.

Youngkin, a former private equity executive and political newcomer, is scheduled to deliver remarks after being sworn in as the state's 74th governor.

He defeated former Gov. Terry McAuliffe last year by mobilizing voters concerned about education and race while making small gains with suburban voters and other key groups to help his party rebound in a state long trending blue.

Miyares and Sears will both make history — the former as the first Latino to serve in the position and Sears as the first woman of color to serve in a statewide office.

A traditional inaugural parade will kick off after the ceremony. Participants will include members of the Virginia National Guard, Virginia university and high school students, NASA representatives and law enforcement officers, according to Youngkin's transition team.

A celebration is planned for Saturday night that will feature a performance by the Zac Brown Band.

The first of Youngkin's inaugural weekend events got underway Friday morning, when the governor-elect participated in a service event with local officials, helping landscape an area along the Richmond Slave Trail, a tribute to the critical role the city played 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 candlelit black tie reception and dinner held at a science museum.

A prayer breakfast was planned Saturday morning ahead of the inauguration, and the weekend was scheduled to wrap up Sunday with an open house at the Executive Mansion.

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