Kentucky has a new governor.
Calling on the state to set a national example of casting aside political divisions, Democrat Andy Beshear was sworn in just after midnight Tuesday in the Governor’s Mansion. Beshear defeated Republican Matt Bevin in a close election last month; after a recanvass of the vote totals revealed only one additional vote, Bevin conceded.
Bevin received a long ovation on Monday from administration employees who lined a Capitol hallway as the outgoing governor walked to his office. They all gathered in the Rotunda, where Bevin said they had set a new standard for how government should operate in his single term.
After Beshear was sworn, Jacqueline Coleman was sworn in as the state’s lieutenant governor. Her background as a teacher and assistant principal was a key asset in a campaign that stressed support for public education.
Their middle-of-the-night swearing-in was a Kentucky tradition, ensuring continuity at the head of state government. Tuesday’s inaugural events include a worship service, a parade and a public swearing-in on the Capitol steps at 2 p.m.