HARRISBURG, Pa. (Erie News Now) — Tuesday, hundreds of attendees watched as Democrat Josh Shapiro was sworn in as Pennsylvania’s 48th governor. Shapiro took his oath of office around 1:00 p.m., shortly after that of Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis.
On a stack of three bibles, Pennsylvania’s 48th governor placed his hand and took the oath of office. Each bible holds its own special significance to the 49-year-old Governor. Perhaps the most significant, a Hebrew bible that survived the 2018 Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, the deadliest antisemitic attack in the United States.
“I stand before you, a proud American of Jewish faith, who just took the oath of office to be the 48th governor of this great commonwealth on a bible from the Tree of Life Synagogue,” said Gov. Shapiro.
As he addressed the large crowd of attendees, including family, friends and supporters, Shapiro vowed to keep his promise that he’ll be a governor for all Pennsylvanians.
“To those who didn’t cast a vote for me, I heard you too. And I will do my best every day to be a governor for all Pennsylvanians,” said Shapiro. “I set out to build a cabinet and a senior staff that looks like Pennsylvania and reflects the people and the communities that I just took an oath of office to serve and protect. I look forward to doing this work with them for all of you,” he added.
Shapiro has nominated former Republican lawmakers and officials to serve in his cabinet, including former Republican State Senator Pat Browne, as Secretary of Revenue, and former Republican Philadelphia commissioner, Al Schmidt, as Secretary of the Commonwealth.
Shapiro thanked his family, his supporters and the people of Pennsylvania.
“You inspired me. You taught me important lessons. You invited me into your homes, into your union halls, into your places of worship, and into your community centers,” said Shapiro. “I heard your stories, and those stories fuel my drive to serve. Your struggles give me purpose. Your smiles and your tears, they have filled my heart. Your problems have become my priorities. Your causes, my concerns,” Shapiro added.
Also in attendance were former Governors Tom Wolf, Tom Corbett, Mark Schweiker and Tom Ridge. Shapiro pledged to build off the progress of the former governors, and thanked Gov. Wolf for his two-terms of service.
“Thanks to his leadership, we now find ourselves in the strongest financial shape in the history of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” said Shapiro to his predecessor. “I honor the work of those who came before me, and I accept the responsibility that you’ve bestowed upon me to be the next link in this chain of progress,” he added.
It was a historic day for the new administration as Austin Davis made history, becoming Pennsylvania’s first Black lieutenant governor. In the role, he’ll preside over the Senate and chair the Board of Pardons, among other responsibilities.
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