RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)— Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin will take the oath of office today, Saturday January 15, as the 74th Governor of the Commonwealth.
The last time a Republican took the oath of office was in 2010 but the GOP swept statewide offices last election season. Governor-elect Youngkin, Lt. Governor-elect Winsome Sears and Attorney General-elect Jason Miyares are taking power with a promise to change the trajectory of the state.
On Inauguration Day eve, Youngkin helped clean up the land surrounding Richmond’s Slavery Reconciliation Statue. He said the facelift symbolized Virginia’s ugly history, the progress to come and the power of coming together.
“I hope everybody noticed you can get a lot done when you all come together and do it in unity,” Youngkin said.
It’s a message Youngkin is expected to echo in his Inaugural Address on Saturday, although some of his priorities have proved divisive.
Youngkin’s “Day One Game Plan” is packed with dozens of campaign promises, including expanding charter schools, firing the parole board, slashing taxes and cutting back on business regulations.
Asked in an interview when Virginians can expect him to follow through on executive actions banning critical race theory in schools and ending a statewide school mask mandate, Youngkin said, “The first business day for me is tomorrow and so we are going to work tomorrow and you are going to see a lot of movement get started.”
Youngkin’s Press Secretary Macaulay Porter later clarified that, while the administration isn’t ready to share what specific steps the Governor-elect will announce on Inauguration Day, Virginians can expect some action to be taken immediately.
Capitol Square was closed in the days leading up the ceremony, which is expected to kick off around noon.
The Virginia National Guard will play a central role in the festivities, including marshaling the inaugural parade, playing ceremonial music, firing a 19-gun artillery salute with blank ammunition and conducting a flyover with F-22 fighter jets.
“It means the world to me to see an event like this take place,” said VNG Captain Adrian Fonville. “There is nowhere else I would rather be on that day.”
Zac Brown Band, a country band, will perform at a ticketed event at Main Street Station after the Inauguration, a Youngkin spokesperson confirmed to 8News. After he takes office, Youngkin and Virginia’s next First Lady, Suzanne Youngkin, will host an open house on Sunday, Jan. 16, at the Executive Mansion that will be open to the public.