Missouri’s governor talked about unity and working for all residents, during his inaugural address Monday afternoon at the Statehouse in Jefferson City.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson is sworn in by Jackson County Circuit Judge Sarah Castle on January 11, 2021 in Jefferson City (photo courtesy of the governor’s Flickr page)

Under the Missouri Constitution, Governor Mike Parson was sworn-in at high noon, after 12 bells rang at nearby St. Peter Catholic Church downtown.

Governor Parson was sworn-in by Jackson County Circuit Judge Sarah Castle, who is the only judge to be appointed twice by the governor.

The Bible used by the governor during Monday’s swearing-in ceremony was a gift given to him by First Lady Teresa Parson.

“I will care for the unborn to the elderly to the rich to the poor, regardless of the color of your skin,” says Governor Parson.

About 2,000 people attended Monday’s inauguration ceremonies, which kicked off the historic celebration of 200 years of Missouri history. The morning started with cloudy skies and 35 degree temperatures, but sunshine appeared just before noon.

The ceremony on the Capitol lawn began at 11:07 am, which Bicentennial remarks from Gary Kremer of the State Historical Society of Missouri. Kramer outlined the history of Missouri’s Bicentennial.

The oaths of office were administered first to Attorney General Eric Schmitt (R), State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick (R), Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft (R) and Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe (R).

Governor Parson’s inaugural address was brief, and he noted Missouri’s diversity.

“When I travel across Missouri, I meet so many different people but regardless of where we come from, we all want what is best for our families and for our state,” Parson says.

State Sen. Barbara Washington, D-Kansas City, appeared live on Missourinet after the governor’s speech, saying she liked his focus on unity.

The governor also focused on the future, saying sunny days are ahead.

The 135th Missouri Army National Guard Band performed on the Capitol lawn, and the Missouri State University chorale also performed.

A B-2 bomber flew just over the Missouri Capitol after the inaugural address, and there was also a 19-gun salute from the Missouri National Guard.

House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, issued a statement which says the governor’s inaugural speech ignored last week’s deaths at the U.S. Capitol.

“In setting the tone for his coming term, Governor Parson could have used his inaugural speech to forcefully denounce the members of his political party who helped encourage and incite the insurrectionist mob that assaulted the U.S. Capitol last week. He instead pretended the events that have shaken the very foundation of American democracy didn’t happen and ignored his party’s complicity in them,’ Leader Quade says, in a written statement.

Quade says Missouri needs leaders “who will unequivocally and vocally oppose domestic terrorism.”

Parson defeated Democratic Auditor Nicole Galloway by about 500,000 votes in November’s gubernatorial election. Galloway attended the inaugural ceremonies, as did former Governors Jay Nixon (D) and John Ashcroft (R).

Former Lt. Governor Peter Kinder (R) also attended, as did U.S. Reps. Billy Long, R-Springfield, Jason Smith, R-Salem, Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, Vicky Hartzler, R-Harrisonville, and Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-St. Elizabeth.

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