Yesterday four new statewide officials and one incumbent were inaugurated.
Tim Walz was sworn in as Minnesota's 41st governor, while Peggy Flanagan became lieutenant governor. Keith Ellison took over as Attorney General while Julie Blaha became auditor. Steve Simon will begin a second term as secretary of state.
In his inaugural address, Governor Tim Walz made a plea for improving education statewide.
“Disparities in our educational system based on geography, race, or economic status hold back not only our students, but our entire state from reaching its full potential. We must make Minnesota the ‘Education State’ for all children—black, white, brown, and indigenous. That starts with our shared values, the values we hold in common for the common good. Our state has a proud tradition of valuing the power of education. We must recommit ourselves to this Minnesota value. If we are going to foster the best education system in the country, every politician, every community, and every Minnesotan must value our children receiving a high-quality education. This means valuing our teachers, our principals, our mentors, our paraprofessionals, our bus drivers and, of course, our students. In sum, it means valuing the great American institution of public education. Minnesotans, let’s recognize some simple truths: Education is the great equalizer of society. Education unleashes untapped potential. Education conjures the magic of promising beginnings and the grace of second chances. Putting a young child on a yellow bus to pre-kindergarten in St. Cloud can prevent him from riding a prison bus to Stillwater.”
Attorney General Ellison declared,
“My job as the People’s Lawyer is to help Minnesotans afford their lives and live with dignity and respect. … The Minnesota Attorney General’s office will be the place where everybody counts and everybody matters.”
Attorney General Ellison is the first African American and the first Muslim American to be elected to statewide office in Minnesota. Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan became the highest-ranking American Indian woman in a state executive office in the nation.