Although the pageantry is set for later today, Jim Justice is now officially West Virginia’s governor.
The coal and farming magnate and resort owner took the oath of office at 12:01 a.m. in the chapel at The Greenbrier resort, which he owns. The resort posted a video of the oath-taking on its Facebook page.
Some previous governors have also chosen to take the oath in private early on their first day, before the public events surrounding their inauguration.
Justice’s public inauguration is set for 1 p.m. at the state Capitol, to be followed by a receiving line in the Capitol and a reception at the Culture Center. The traditional inaugural ball will be Monday night at The Greenbrier.
Justice replaces fellow Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin, who served as governor for more than five years.
While Justice has said he’ll revive the coal industry and put West Virginians back to work, he’s been short on specifics as to how he’ll do so. He said during the campaign that he wouldn’t raise taxes or make deep cuts to fill the state’s multimillion-dollar budget hole.
Questions also remain about how Justice will balance his extensive business holdings with his new role as the state’s top public official. He also still owes more than $3 million in state taxes.
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