BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - John Bel Edwards was sworn in for a second term as Louisiana governor on Monday, Jan. 13.
Gov. Edwards was in Monroe on Nov. 6. (Source: KNOE)
Inaugural festivities began Monday morning with an invitation-only Catholic mass at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in downtown Baton Rouge, followed by a swearing-in ceremony at 11:30 a.m. on the steps of the capitol.
During his speech, Edwards focused on continued funding for roads and bridges, getting to work on coastal restoration projects that will create more land than Louisiana is losing, and ensuring Louisiana has the best cyber security defense of any state.
In an upending of tradition, the governor has canceled the usual inaugural ball because he and many other state leaders will be hightailing it to New Orleans to attend the LSU vs. Clemson National Championship game. Instead, Edwards and First Lady Donna will host an inauguration reception in New Orleans at the House of Blues.
The inauguration ceremony featured a 19-cannon salute, an F-15 flyover from the Louisiana National Guard, as well as prayer and hymns sung by the Centenary College, Grambling State University, and Southern University choirs.
Louisiana’s six other Republican statewide elected officials were individually sworn in for their latest terms: Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, Attorney General Jeff Landry, Treasurer John Schroder, Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain, and Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon. Nungesser also delivered a speech.
Following the inauguration, the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) released the following statement, congratulating Edwards:
“Congratulations to Gov. Edwards on his inauguration today. Gov. Edwards has delivered incredible progress for Louisiana. He turned a $2 billion deficit into a surplus, provided health care to over 450,000 Louisianans, and gave teachers their first pay raise in a decade. Gov. Edwards enacted sweeping criminal justice reforms that have reduced crime and saved taxpayer dollars. With his swearing in today, Gov. Edwards becomes the first Democratic governor to win reelection in Louisiana in 44 years. Louisianans rewarded Gov. Edwards with four more years because of his bipartisan record of success. In his second term, I look forward to seeing all he will accomplish for the people of Louisiana.”
-Gov. Phil Murphy, DGA chair