For the first time in more than six years, Vermont’s chief executive is a Republican.
Gov. Phil Scott, R-Vermont, took the oath of office at a ceremony in the Statehouse in Montpelier Thursday afternoon.
Vermont’s House of Representatives and Senate, meanwhile, remain firmly in control of Democrats, sparking calls for bipartisanship.
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"This transition comes at a time when the political divide, across the country, feels as deep, and as personal as it ever has," Gov. Scott noted in his inaugural address.
Scott called on state lawmakers to rise above partisanship and work together to solve real and diverse problems facing Vermonters.
The new governor outlined four main policy goals: combating opiate addiction, revitalizing economic development, improving education across all age levels, and building sustainable state budgets.
Rep. Kiah Morris, D-Bennington, said the kind of cooperation needed to achieve those goals is possible in Vermont.
"Deep down, we all have a deep love, care, and passion for our state," Morris told necn. "I don’t know that a change in leadership, just because of a particular party designation, is going to make us lose focus of what needs to be done for Vermonters right now."
Former Governor Peter Shumlin, a Democrat, did not seek reelection in November.
In his farewell address to the legislature, Shumlin said this week that under President Donald Trump, the nation will need Vermont’s brand of togetherness and respect now more than ever.
In his inaugural speech, Scott thanked Shumlin for his service to the state, and called his new job an "incredible privilege."