AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas has a new governor for the first time in 14 years as Gov. Greg Abbott took the oath of office to become the state’s 48th governor on the South Lawn of the Texas Capitol Tuesday.
Abbott took the oath on a bible handed down to him by his father and the traditional bible used by Texas governors, which is believed to have been used when Sam Houston was inaugurated as president of the Republic of Texas.
The governor highlighted the success of Texans who overcame struggles and went on to do realize their dreams in the state. Saying, “Where a 13-year-old daughter of immigrants from Mexico worked nights in a drapery factory but never gave up on her dreams. Now Eva Guzman is the first Latina to serve as a Justice on the Texas Supreme Court.”
Abbott went on to say there is more that must be done for Texans.
“More for the families stuck in traffic. More for parched towns thirsty for water. More for parents who fear their child is falling behind in school.More for employers searching for skilled workers. More for our veterans who return broken from battle,” he said.
His address echoed themes of his campaign: securing the border and pushing back against Washington.
“Any government that uses the guise of fairness to rob us of our freedom will get a uniquely Texan response: ‘come and take it.'”
Patrick Sworn in as lieutenant governor
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick was sworn in by his son, Ryan Patrick, a district judge in Houston. During the ceremony, Patrick paused to take a selfie prior to delivering his inaugural remarks.
“My goal is to be the best lieutenant governor in the history of Texas,” Patrick said, “It’s not about my legacy; it’s about you, your family, and the future of Texas.” Patrick went on to proclaim it a “New Day in Texas” as he echoed his legislative priorities in education, border security and lowering taxes.
A devout born-again Christian, Patrick had been a state senator since 2007. He was inaugurated on the Texas Capitol steps Tuesday by his son Ryan, a state district judge in Houston.
Patrick promised to take Texas’ already strong conservatism “to the next level,” saying Texans “gave us a mandate.”
He also cited Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in praising “school choice,” or controversial voucher programs that allow taxpayer money to flow to private and religious schools.
Patrick has also promised deep property and business tax cuts.
The 54-year-old succeeds former Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who had been lieutenant governor since 2003 but lost to Patrick in a bitter Republican primary last March.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.