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State inauguration ceremony to set a bipartisan tone

Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey speaks to supporters, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, at an election night party in Scottsdale, Ariz. Incumbent Ducey defeated Democratic challenger David Garcia for his second term. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey speaks to supporters, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, at an election night party in Scottsdale, Ariz. Incumbent Ducey defeated Democratic challenger David Garcia for his second term. (AP Photo/Matt York)

When Gov. Doug Ducey is sworn in for his second term on January 7, a Democratic Arizona mayor will lead the inauguration ceremony.

Mayor Robert Uribe of Douglas will serve as master of ceremonies for the 2019 inauguration ceremony as two Democrats join the ranks of Arizona’s statewide elected officials, shifting the state to a purplish political hue.

The ceremony was designed to send a message of inclusivity as the state enters a new era in which both Republicans and Democrats occupy Arizona’s highest offices, said Dawn Wallace, special assistant to the governor.

“Certainly, the fact that we have people of different parties sitting on stage, being sworn in at the same time, that’s a great opportunity for a new day of working together, serving together, creating good policy together,” she said.

At the 10 a.m. ceremony at the Arizona Capitol, Ducey will be sworn in for his second, four-year term along with Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Mine Inspector Joe Hart, who were also re-elected. Republican Kimberly Yee, beginning her first term, will be sworn in as state treasurer at the public ceremony.

Democrats Katie Hobbs and Kathy Hoffman will be sworn in as secretary of state and superintendent of public Instruction, respectively. They replace Republicans Michele Reagan and Diane Douglas, who lost their re-election bids to primary challengers.

Approximately 3,500 people will be in attendance for the festivities and about 1,000 tickets are available for the public through an online portal on a first-come, first-served basis

The Governor’s Office is primarily responsible for planning and organizing the inauguration ceremony, but Ducey and his wife Angela wanted the ceremony to be a reflection of all the incoming elected officials, Wallace said.

“It’s not just the governor’s inauguration,” she said. “It’s all about how we can create this notion that we’re one Arizona.”

Uribe will provide opening and closing remarks at the ceremony. The youngest mayor of Douglas and the first Afro-Latino to hold the position crossed partisan lines to endorse Ducey’s re-election bid.

He said Ducey’s efforts to kick off the next four years with a bipartisan message sets the tone for state politics moving forward.

“It’s a strong message in not too many words,” Uribe said. “He’s saying, ‘regardless of what’s happening on the national level, this is how we work in Arizona’ and that’s pretty powerful to me and to everyone in Arizona.”

Four grandchildren of Democratic Arizona Congressman Ed Pastor, who died in November, will lead the pledge of allegiance at the inauguration ceremony.

Jonah Littlesunday, the Navajo flutist who performed at U.S. Sen. John McCain’s memorial service in Phoenix, will also perform just after Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Scott Bales swears in the statewide elected officials.

In a subtle nod to McCain, the ceremony will also feature a flyover by F-16 fighters from the Arizona Air National Guard.

After the ceremony, the Capitol grounds will transform into a family-friendly area with mascots and players from local professional sports teams and 10 Arizona restaurants serving free food samples.

For more details on the inauguration, visit: www.2019azinauguration.az.gov.

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