New Wyoming governor takes oath in state Capitol work zone

By Mead Gruver with permission.

WYOMING – Wanting to start his term in the people’s house, Governor Mark Gordon took the oath of office during a short ceremony in the early morning of Monday, January 7 in the Rotunda of the Wyoming Capitol, which is closed for restoration.

Mark Gordon looks to be a blue collar, hardhat kind of governor. He was sworn in as Wyoming’s 33rd governor this morning. (AP)

Gordon wore a yellow safety vest for his swearing-in as Wyoming’s 33rd governor, which happened in a well-known yet unusual setting. What’s unusual is the more than 128-year-old building has been closed for three years for renovations. The over $300 million project to renovate the Capitol and another building is nearing completion.

At 5:50am, all participants rode the red and green Cheyenne trolley to the front of the Capitol. They entered the construction site one group at a time, climbing up the temporary wooden stairs through the main south entrance. The oath of office was administered in the Rotunda, with an American flag draped over the scaffolding.

Because of safety restrictions, only a small crowd of relatives, officials and an Associated Press reporter witnessed the 6am ceremony under the glare of construction lights.

During the 15-minute ceremony, Wyoming Chief Justice Michael K. Davis administered the oath of office to Governor Gordon on the family bible with his wife Jennie at his side.

“Being sworn in the Capitol, the people’s house, holds special historical significance to me as I represent the entire state of Wyoming as governor, following a long line of pragmatic, effective and strong leaders,” Gordon said. “As Treasurer, I was sworn in the Capitol and it was important to me to have this ceremony with the other constitutional officers in the people’s house. I look forward to the larger ceremony today with my extended family, friends and citizens of Wyoming.”

Justice Davis also administered the oath of office to Secretary Edward Buchanan, Auditor Kristi Racines, Treasurer Curt Meier, and Superintendent Jillian Balow.  In attendance with each elected official were a group of family members, Amber Buchanan, wife of the Secretary of State; Torey Racines, husband of the State Auditor;  Charlene Meier, wife of the State Treasurer; and the State Superintendent’s husband John Balow and son Jack Balow.

An odd place for an official ceremony but it suited Gov. Mark Gordon just fine. (AP)

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