HARRISBURG, Pa. — Gov. Josh Shapiro was sworn into office Jan. 17 at the Pennsylvania State Capitol.
Shapiro became the 48th governor of Pennsylvania. He is also its third Jewish governor and the first governor since 1966 to belong to the same political party as his predecessor.
Choirs from across the state rang in ceremony.
Shapiro swore the oath of office on three bibles, one of which survived the 2018 fatal shooting rampage in the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Another was carried by a World War II soldier who landed in Normandy on D-Day on June 6, 1944. The last bible was a personal family bible on which Shapiro has been sworn in for every public office he has held since 2005.
The inaugural address touched on some of Shapiro’s stated priorities, like abortion rights, freedom of religion and fighting hatred and extremism.
“Pennsylvanians can indeed find light in the midst of darkness and drown out the voices of hate and bigotry,” he said.
Many of Pennsylvania’s most prominent political figures were in attendance, including both U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and John Fetterman (D-Pa.), as well as former Governors Tom Ridge, Mark Schweiker, Tom Corbett and outgoing Gov. Tom Wolf.
“Governor, you have exemplified what I spoke of a moment ago,” Shapiro addressed Wolf during his address. “You inherited the work of those who came before you, you served with honor, and you are leaving us in a better place than when you started. Thank you.”
The governors had met earlier in the morning for a breakfast with Shapiro. Former Gov. Ed Rendell did not attend due to mobility challenges. Shapiro said the presence of previous governors—both Democrat and Republican—represented the peaceful transfer of power. The comparison comes in a time when American democracy has seen several challenges, ranging from the 2020 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol to accusations of election fraud in Pennsylvania elections.
Notably not present was State Rep. Doug Mastriano (R-Adams), the Republican gubernatorial candidate who lost by nearly 15 percentage points in the November election. Senate GOP leaders confirmed he was on “personal leave.”
Lt. Gov. Austin Davis was sworn in earlier in the day. He is the first African American to hold the position of lieutenant governor in Pennsylvania.
The festivities are set to continue at the Inaugural Celebration happening tonight at Rock Lititz. Famous performers—all from Pennsylvania—include Wiz Khalifa, Smokey Robinson and Mt. Joy.