Democrat Dan McKee was sworn in as Rhode Island’s 76th governor on Tuesday, while Gina Raimondo formally stepped down and joined President Joe Biden’s cabinet as U.S. Commerce Secretary.
McKee, 69, has been the state’s lieutenant governor since 2015. He will serve the remaining 22 months of former Governor Raimondo’s four-year term.
Raimondo, 49, is a fellow Democrat and former venture capitalist whose new job will be to help shape the Biden administration’s trade policy and promote U.S. growth opportunities at home and abroad. She received confirmation from the Senate on Tuesday.
McKee is a longtime Rhode Islander who previously served as mayor of Cumberland, a town of about 33,500. He was sworn in about a year after Rhode Island’s first case of coronavirus was confirmed – a health crisis that has eclipsed Raimondo’s final year as governor and will dominate McKee’s first.
The new governor said in a statement after Tuesday’s brief ceremony at the Statehouse that he was “honored and humiliated” to lead the state at a critical time.
“I will work hard, day in and day out, on behalf of the people of Rhode Island in all 39 towns and cities to ensure that we come out of this pandemic stronger than we have been,” McKee said.
His office said a public opening would take place on the steps of the Statehouse on Sunday. It should also stop on Wednesday at …
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