On heels of Democratic gains, Ralph Northam sworn in as Virginia governor

On heels of Democratic gains, Ralph Northam sworn in as Virginia governor

Governor Ralph Northam got right to work on Saturday, signing multiple executive orders for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Northam said he began following a "different kind of compass" through the honor code of the Virginia Military Institute, his alma mater, where cadets are sworn to never "lie, cheat, steal, nor tolerate those who do".

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

Ralph Northam has been sworn in as Virginia's 73rd governor.

"The solution to these problems are not easy, but we do know what they are", Northam told the crowds.

Northam has also promised to try and expand Medicaid and enact stricter gun laws. But along with Northam's victory last November, Democrats flipped 15 seats in the House of Delegates, bringing new hope that Northam, who served in the state Senate before becoming lieutenant governor in 2014, might achieve what McAuliffe never did.

Northam is the second consecutive Democrat to be elected as Governor of Virginia. Republicans hold a slim majority in both chambers. Virginia's economy continues a tepid growth in the wake of the Great Recession and the state's budget faces long-term strains in education and health care.

On heels of Democratic gains, Ralph Northam sworn in as Virginia governor

An example: a keenly felt split in the state over what to do with its numerous Confederate monuments and statues, which Northam has said he'd like to see moved to museums.

A parade with participants from across Virginia kicked off the celebration of Northam's inauguration. 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. "It is our honest hope that the new administration will join with Republican majorities in the House and Senate as we work to make Virginia America's best state for families to live, to work, and to prosper".

Fairfax is a former federal prosecutor who ran for Attorney General in 2013.

"Virginia and this country need that more than ever these days".

Members of the Virginia Military Institute Corps of Cadets, which Northam is a graduate of, also marched.

Northam takes over while Democratic fervor is at a modern high point in Virginia, after elections that remade the General Assembly so that it features the first Latinas as well as its first openly transgender and lesbian members.

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