Josh Shapiro Inaugurated as Pennsylvania Governor

Josh Shapiro was inaugurated as Pennsylvania’s 48th governor on Tuesday in Harrisburg. (Photo by Jarrad Saffren)

As the sun peeked through the clouds for the first time all day Tuesday in Harrisburg, Josh Shapiro put his left hand on the bible and raised his right hand. Then he repeated after Pennsylvania Chief Justice Debra Todd, who was standing across from him.

“I will support, obey and defend…,” Shapiro said. “The Constitution of the United States…and the Constitution of this Commonwealth.”

Seconds later, the Jewish Democrat promised to “discharge my duties of the office of Governor of Pennsylvania…with fidelity…so help me God.” Shapiro emphasized “God” as the crowd of hundreds started to roar. The claps continued as the public address announcer boomed over the capitol dome and announced the Montgomery County man as Pennsylvania’s 48th governor.

The new governor waved to the cheering admirers and smiled. With the members of the PA General Assembly, the justices of the state Supreme Court, four former governors and a crowd of voters present, the Commonwealth transferred power to a new administration. Shapiro is replacing a fellow Democrat, Tom Wolf, who just finished his second and final term.

Shapiro, a member of the Beth Sholom Congregation in Elkins Park, became the third Jewish governor in PA history. Milton Shapp led the Keystone State for two terms from January 1971 to January 1979. Then Ed Rendell did the same from January 2003 to January 2011.

Moments later, Shapiro stepped to the podium and delivered a 23-minute speech as the sun continued to peek out from the clouds. He thanked his wife, Lori Shapiro, sitting off to his right, as well as their four children who were sitting behind her. Then he looked out and expressed his gratitude to the people who put him on that stage underneath the capitol dome.

“I want all of you to know just how hard I will work for your children, as Lori and I have for ours,” he said.




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