Governors are being sworn in several states Monday, after the 2018 midterm elections. In Georgia, Republican Brian Kemp takes the oath of office in Atlanta. The former Georgia secretary of state rose from underdog status to clinch a Republican primary runoff with tough talk on immigration and a nod from President Trump. His general election campaign against Democrat Stacey Abrams was marked by accusations of voter suppression and mismanagement against Kemp, who served as the state’s chief election officer during his run.
Kansas’ new Democratic governor is expected to take office promising a bipartisan administration even as she and her supporters celebrate a sharp break with her conservative Republican predecessors. Gov.-elect Laura Kelly is scheduled to be sworn in Monday, and in her inaugural address, she’s likely to stress the broad themes that underpinned her successful campaign last year. A veteran state senator from Topeka, Kelly pitched herself to voters as a no-nonsense problem-solver who could work with Republicans, who control the Legislature.
Kelly’s victory drew national attention because Kansas is a predominantly Republican state and her opponent, who was Kansas’ secretary of state, Kris Kobach, touted his closeness to President Trump. Kobach is a staunch advocate of voter ID laws. He was vice chairman of the Trump administration’s election fraud commission, though the commission eventually found no evidence to support Mr. Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election. Kobach won a narrow victory over Gov. Jeff Colyer in the GOP primary after Mr. Trump endorsed Kobach.
In Alabama, Kay Ivey, who said she “steadied the ship of state” after taking over for a scandal-battled predecessor nearly two years ago, will be sworn in for her first full term Monday. She takes the oath of office during inauguration festivities at the Alabama Capitol.
Ivey, 74, is the state’s second female governor and the first Republican woman elected to the position. She had been lieutenant governor, and automatically became governor 21 months ago when then-Gov. Robert Bentley suddenly resigned in the midst of an impeachment investigation partly centered on his relationship with an aide.
On Sunday, Republican Mike DeWine was sworn in as governor of Ohio. The former U.S. senator took his oath in a private midnight ceremony at his Cedarville home ahead of a public inauguration planned Monday at the Statehouse. DeWine is among the state’s best-known politicians after serving in elected office for four decades, including as a state lawmaker, congressman, lieutenant governor and, most recently, state attorney general. At 72 years of age, he is also the oldest person to serve as Ohio governor.