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Republican Glenn Youngkin was sworn on Saturday as the next governor of Virginia, delivering an optimistic message about empowering parents, overcoming COVID-19 and providing economic relief to families and businesses hard-hit by the pandemic and inflation.

“We celebrate the sound of freedom!” Youngkin said to thunderous applause and a fighter jet flyover shortly after he took the oath of office.

Speaking outside the Capitol in Richmond, the state’s new 74th governor told Virginians that better days are ahead.

Youngkin waves to the crowd before his inauguration ceremony, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

“The spirit of Virginia is alive and well. And together we will strengthen it,” Youngkin said. “Together we’ll renew the promise of Virginia, so it will be the best place to live, work and raise a family.”


Youngkin, a former private equity executive and political novice, beat Democrat former Gov. Terry McAuliffe in November to flip the swing state red in the highly-watched race. He’s the first GOP governor since 2014.

In an olive branch to Democrats, Youngkin said Saturday: “No matter who you voted for, I pledge to be your advocate, your voice, your governor.”