Laying out his vision for Wyoming in his first inaugural address, Governor Mark Gordon called for fiscal prudence, growing communities rather than government, and a focus on innovation for the future.
Governor Gordon took the oath on his family’s Bible with his wife Jennie at his side. Then delivered his first inaugural address to the resounding applause from a crowd of over 900 family, friends, state and local leaders, students, supporters and citizens.
“I believe from the bottom of my heart that Wyoming can reach new heights and be a beacon for others. We can lead the way into a bright future if we focus on the world we want our grandchildren to inherit even as we address the issues of this day,” said Governor Gordon.
“Looking back at the wisdom and prudence of those that came before us and reflecting on the potential of future generations, I believe more than ever that Wyoming is in a position to develop solutions to global challenges. Those solutions will be rooted in our sense of place, our home, the things we hold dear. Wyoming will continue to be a place that unleashes the ambition and potential of her people.”
Wyoming Chief Justice Michael K. Davis administered the oath of office to Governor Gordon and to Secretary of State Edward Buchanan, Auditor Kristi Racines, Treasurer Curt Meier, and Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow during the public ceremony at the Cheyenne Civic Center at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, January 7, and at a small ceremony inside the State Capitol earlier that morning.
Governor Gordon outlined his vision of how Wyoming could seize the future from behind a wooden podium, a surprise gift made by his son Spencer Young with artwork of the Capitol done by his childhood friend Jim Clayton. The governor plans to release details of his priorities in the upcoming State of the State Address, scheduled for January 9 during the Joint Session of the 65th Wyoming Legislature.
The ceremony concluded with a surprise performance from two local bagpipers, a nod to Governor Gordon’s Scottish heritage.
Dignitaries on stage included Chief Justice of the Wyoming Supreme Court Michael Davis; US Senator Mike Enzi and Diana Enzi; US Senator John Barrasso; US Representative Liz Cheney; Ambassador Mike Sullivan and First Lady Jane Sullivan; Governor Jim Geringer; Governor Dave Freudenthal and Judge Nancy Freudenthal; Governor Matt Mead and First Lady Carol Mead; Supt. of Public Instruction Jillian Balow and John Balow; State Treasurer Curt Meier and Charlene Meier; State Auditor Kristi Racines and Torey Racines; Secretary of State Ed Buchanan and Amber Buchanan; Governor Gordon and First Lady Jennie Gordon.
“We live in complicated times, and the trust you have placed in me is daunting. But, I assume this office with confidence and with an unbounding faith in our people,” said Governor Gordon.
“I believe our best times will come when we assure a reliable and fiscally prudent future. We must recognize that not all wants are needs. How we separate these will be our toughest work in the coming years. We will have choices to make that relate to government spending. The services we have come to expect and in some cases depend on come with a price tag. We in Wyoming are not eager to take on new taxes and especially so if we haven’t done our best to control our expenditures first.”
“I believe that our government will need to become more efficient not just cheaper. We need to become more effective even as we become leaner. And we must invest in the people, programs, and systems that will make it all possible.”
Growing communities, not government:
“Rather than grow government, let us grow possibility in the places we live. Let us celebrate the shared responsibility of making our state a better place to be. To that end, my administration will work to assure that our towns and counties have the tools and resources they need to cultivate their own economies.”
A force for innovation:
“My administration will be a force for innovation. Following on the good work of the governors on this stage Wyoming will set a course to be a global leader on crucial matters like energy the environment water rural health care education senior care and sensible well-regulated government that seeks to preserve those principles enshrined in our constitutions.”
“Our kids went through the public school system, just as most of yours did. And I served on the local school board. So, I know firsthand that a one-size-fits-all approach to education will not do justice to the diversity of priorities and needs in districts around the state. I intend to nurture open and frequent communication lines with all our schools. To listen and respond appropriately to the needs of our different communities. And I’m eager to work together with educators and lawmakers to find a lasting solution to school funding that makes sense for Wyoming.”