Watch: Josh Shapiro is sworn in as governor of Pa.


PHILADELPHIA (TBEN/TBEN) — It’s Inauguration Day for Pennsylvania Governor-elect Josh Shapiro.

The Montgomery County Democrat takes the oath of office at noon Tuesday in Harrisburg.

Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis will also be sworn in.

“I am willing to be governor for all Pennsylvanians,” Shapiro said Monday at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event. “To do the hard work to move our Commonwealth forward, build on the strong foundation Governor Wolf left us and make some really important changes.”

Part of Shapiro’s role as governor is working with the Pennsylvania House, which was unsure which side for months was in power. Ultimately Democrats and some Republicans elected Berks County Rep. Mark Rozzi as speaker. He has promised to rule as an independent.

In November, Shapiro defeated Republican Senator Doug Mastriano to become governor.

Shapiro, 49, will take office with more experience in state government than any of his recent predecessors, including eight years as a state legislator and six years as an elected state attorney general.

He will take the oath on a dais behind the ornate state Capitol in Harrisburg, while lawmakers, congressmen and others look on.

The stage will feature just over a dozen people invited by Shapiro — including survivors of child sexual abuse, parents of children killed in gun violence, and the widows of two state troopers killed in the line of duty — who according to aides symbolize his accomplishments as Attorney General. his bipartisan policy aims as governor.

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Shapiro won’t spell out specific policy goals, aides say, but he will emphasize themes he developed before and after the election: that voters embrace democracy, reject extremism and seek progress on key quality-of-life issues.

He will take the reins of a sprawling state government—which employs about 80,000 workers and handles more than $100 billion a year in state and federal money—that has billions in reserve and a stronger-than-usual economy for the slow-growing state. .

But he’s also going to cross the street from the attorney general’s office to the executive suite at the Capitol at a time when the House of Representatives is paralyzed by a partisan scramble for control and Republican lawmakers try to strip the executive branch of some leeway to to enact laws. regulations.

Shapiro succeeds outgoing Democratic governor Tom Wolf, who served a limited term, and will be the first Pennsylvania governor since 1966 to be elected to succeed a member of his own party.

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Shapiro himself has preached bipartisanship, emphasizing his support of independents and Republicans in the election when he landed a strong 15 percentage point victory over far-right Republican nominee Mastriano.

Shapiro benefited from a Democratic electorate ablaze with the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol and the Supreme Court’s quashing of the seminal abortion case Roe v. Wade.

In Shapiro, they saw someone who would protect abortion rights with his veto and ensure that the 2024 presidential election—when Pennsylvania is expected to once again be a premier battlefield—will be free and fair, not destroyed if the Republican loses.

But if Shapiro becomes governor, any new law must have a GOP stamp of approval given the Republican majority with six seats in the Senate.

To that end, Shapiro has tried to avoid radioactive political issues, keep the middle ground on various issues, and hire several Republicans for his cabinet.

Shapiro will sign ethical orders for his administration later this week, aides say, and will make his maiden speech at a joint session of the legislature when he presents his first budget plan on March 7.

By the time Shapiro takes the oath of office shortly after noon on Tuesday, he will have resigned as attorney general. In charge will be his six-year deputy, Michelle Henry, a district attorney whom Shapiro plans to appoint to serve the final two years of his term.

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Chief Justice Debra Todd will take his oath while Shapiro, a devout Jew, will place his hand on a stack of three copies of the Hebrew Bible.

One is a family bible; the second is from the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, where a gunman killed 11 worshipers in 2018 in the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in US history; and the third was an Army-issued tome carried by Herman Hershman of Philadelphia on D-Day in 1944.

Members of various faiths will cast an incantation at the event, where the capacity is about 4,400.

Austin Davis will take the oath separately in the Senate chamber, an ex-state legislator who will become Pennsylvania’s first black lieutenant governor.

The inauguration will culminate in a sold-out $50-a-ticket bash at Rock Lititz Studios in Lititz featuring performances from rapper Wiz Khalifa, singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson and indie rock band Mt. Joy.