Governor Northam signs multiple executive orders only hours after being inaugurated

Governor Northam signs multiple executive orders only hours after being inaugurated

Northam succeeds former Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

The order also directs state agencies to try and recruit qualified minority, women, disabled and older job applicants.

"Governor Northam should be commended for his public service to people of Virginia and I congratulate him on his inauguration", said Majority Leader Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah).

The remarks came after a summer that saw deadly violence erupt at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, spurring Trump to condemn "hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides" - remarks widely criticized for seeming to equate the white nationalists with the counterprotesters who showed up at the rally.

"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, a graduate of VMI, addressed the cadets, saying, "I am proud to be one of you". The dogs aid wounded, critically ill and injured members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

"Those challenges are not limited to rural areas", said Northam.

Ralph Northam sworn in as Va. governor
Governor Northam signs multiple executive orders only hours after being inaugurated

The folksy doctor with a low-key charm easily won Virginia's closely watched governor's race in November, powered in large part by a surge of voters unhappy with the Trump administration. Democrat state Attorney General Mark Herring was also sworn in for a second term.

"In a church on a hill 15 blocks from here, Virginia's first elected governor helped launch the American Revolution when he cried, 'Give me liberty, or give me death!'", Northam said, referring to Patrick Henry's famous speech at St. John's Church.

"As Governor, I will draw on these lessons", he said.

But momentum from the election - Northam defeated Ed Gillespie by almost 9 percentage points - and the diminished Republican advantage in the General Assembly do not guarantee success for Virginia's 73rd governor. The pediatric neurologist campaigned on a promise to govern in a bipartisan manner while also standing up to the president.

Governor Ralph Northam got right to work on Saturday, signing multiple executive orders for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Wearing a black morning coat - formal attire with long tails reminiscent of another era - Northam took the oath of office administered by retired Circuit Court Judge Glen Tyler, a family friend. "That's the Virginia way", said Northam at his Inaugural Address. More than 4,000 people, including all of Virginia's living former governors, attended the ceremony in front of the Virginia State Capitol. Cunningham said she felt it was important for voters to be involved in state and local politics.

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