(KTXL) — Governor Gavin Newsom kicked off his second term with a march through downtown Sacramento with his family and hundreds of others, including U.S. Senator Alex Padilla, to the state Capitol for his public inauguration ceremony.
Newsom’s second term officially began on Monday, but he opted to hold an inaugural ceremony on Jan. 6, an intentional move to mark the second anniversary of the attack on the U.S. Capitol by Donald Trump supporters that were trying to interrupt Congress from certifying Joe Biden as president.
The ceremony in front of California’s state Capitol comes on a day with no rain after a series of large storms brought rain, wind and snow, prompting Newsom and state officials to declare a state of emergency.
Newsom started his first term in 2019 and spent the first part of it attacking Trump, in what analysts described as an attempt to build up his national profile for an expected presidential run in the future.
With Biden in the White House, Newsom has pivoted his attacks toward governors Ron DeSantis of Florida and Greg Abbott of Texas, both Republicans.
Recently, Newsom has committed to supporting Biden if he runs for a second term.
Following the march, Newsom’s wife Jennifer Lynn Siebel Newsom gave a speech, partially delivered in Spanish, from a stage in front of the capital.
Newsom, joined by his wife and four children, was then sworn in to office by Supreme Court Justice Patricia Guerrero.
In the governor’s speech that followed, Newsom compared his family’s history in California, which he said started when his great-great-grandfather came to California from Ireland 170 years ago, to migrants today coming to the state.
“I hear the echoes in the stories of migrants that cross our southern border seeking something better,” Newsom said. “In people who come from every continent on earth to flee political persecution. Or from other states to educate themselves in our world-class universities.”
Newsom, widely assumed to have presidential ambitions, also used the anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021 riots in Washington D.C. to attack Republican leaders across the country.
“They’re promoting grievance and victimhood, in an attempt to erase so much of the progress you and I have witnessed in our lifetimes,” Newsom said. “…They silence speech, fire teachers, kidnap migrants, subjugate women, attack the Special Olympics, and even demonize Mickey Mouse.“
The governor also briefly addressed issues that have been plaguing the state.
“I am mindful though, like the nation, we’re two rivers at once, a mix of light and shadow,” Newsom said. “… We must continue our quest for an honest accounting of where we’ve fallen short. None of us are naive on affordability, on housing, on homelessness… California must be the enduring proof of concept.”
Prior to serving as governor, Newsom was lieutenant governor and mayor of San Francisco.
The Associated Press contributed reporting.