Ivey takes oath, begins second full term as Alabama’s 54th governor

Published: Jan. 15, 2023 at 11:54 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 16, 2023 at 1:52 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Monday marked the kick off Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s second full term in office with an inauguration and parade attended by several hundred invited guests and onlookers.

With five fabric panels hung from the building’s façade to create the backdrop of a large state flag, Ivey and other state constitutional officers walked down the marble steps of the Capitol, looked out on historic Dexter Avenue and pledged their oaths to defend the state and national constitutions during their new terms in office.

Governor Kay Ivey speaks after she takes the oath to become the 54th Governor of Alabama during...
Governor Kay Ivey speaks after she takes the oath to become the 54th Governor of Alabama during a ceremony on the steps of the Alabama State Capital Monday, Jan. 16, 2023 in Montgomery, Ala.. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)(Butch Dill | AP)

Ivey, 78, was dressed in a solid white suit that starkly contrasted with the red carpet behind her. She waited to give her inaugural address until each of the other state officials were sworn in and had a few minutes to speak.

“Standing here four years ago, I could’ve never imagined what was to come,” she said as she told the crowd how fortunate Alabamians are to call the state home. The light in the wake of last week’s deadly tornadoes was Alabamians’ love for each other, she said even as recovery efforts across central Alabama are fully underway.

“We all want Alabama to be the best place to live,” Ivey explained. “We want our people working and we want our children to get the best education.” She added that getting a high quality education for all students “will be my number one focus,” and said parents are a crucial element to that success.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey speaks during a ceremony on the steps of the Alabama State Capital...
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey speaks during a ceremony on the steps of the Alabama State Capital Monday, Jan. 16, 2023 in Montgomery, Ala.. Gov. Ivey has been sworn in for her second full term as governor. Ivey had been lieutenant governor but automatically became governor in 2017 when then-Gov. Robert Bentley abruptly resigned amid an impeachment probe. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)(Butch Dill | AP)

The governor said later this week, she’ll sign an executive order establishing an executive commission on teaching and learning. She also confirmed a partnership with country music legend Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to bring free books to every child’s home until the age of 5.

The governor touched on the state’s record low unemployment, promising to cut business regulations by 25% over the next two years. She spoke of building new prisons, implementing criminal justice reforms and touted the 61,000 homes and businesses that have added access to broadband internet.

Ivey blamed the federal government’s spending for creating record high inflation and promised to work toward providing meaningful and responsible assistance following the pandemic. She noted that there will be a busy four years ahead.

As the state’s 54th governor, Ivey is just the second woman to lead Alabama and the first Republican female to do so. She previously held the offices of Treasurer, then lt. governor until mid-2017 when she was sworn in as governor following the resignation of then-Gov. Robert Bentley.

With her most recent election win, Ivey was given a second full term in office. When her current term ends in 2026, she will have become the longest consecutively-serving governor in state history. Only former Gov. George Wallace’s number of years in office were greater, though he served in multiple non-consecutive terms.

Following the inaugural ceremony, the governor climbed into a silver convertible and led a parade of nearly 60 entrants up Dexter Avenue. After making the trek back to the Capitol, she took to the stage and watch as bands, organizations and others representing much of the state marched past.

The parade line-up included the following participants:

Kay Ivey Inaugural Parade list
Kay Ivey Inaugural Parade list(Source: WSFA 12 News)

Ivey started the day off with an early morning prayer service at her home church, First Baptist Church Montgomery around 8:15 a.m. Later in the evening, the governor will take part in a donor celebration and formal Inaugural Gala to mark the start of her second term. These events will not be broadcast live, however.

Monday’s events coincide with MLK Day, a federal holiday to mark the birthday of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as well and a state holiday to mark the birthdays of both King and Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. State and federal offices were closed as a result of the holiday.


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