The Latest: 2 ‘firsts’ take oath as California officeholders

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on California Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom’s inauguration (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

California has sworn in its first elected female lieutenant governor and its first openly gay statewide officeholder.

Eleni Kounalakis, a former ambassador to Hungary, opposed offshore oil drilling and promised to expand access to public education in two of the lieutenant governor’s many roles.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — the first woman to lead a political party in Congress — was among those at Monday’s swearing-in ceremony praising Kounalakis for breaking the glass ceiling.

Meanwhile, former state Sen. Ricardo Lara became the first openly gay statewide officeholder when he was sworn in as insurance commissioner.

The son of Mexican immigrants took his oath on a copy of an original Spanish version of the state Constitution.


1:15 p.m.

Democratic lawmakers are cheering new California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s commitment to investing in early childhood education.

Assemblyman Kevin McCarty says it was hard to get former Gov. Jerry Brown to see that as a priority. Newsom will introduce a roughly $2 billion investment in child care and early learning programs in his budget address later this week.

Newsom’s Monday inaugural address also drew cheers when he pledged to expand health care.

Republican lawmakers, meanwhile, are holding off on harsh criticism for now of the Democrat.

Republican Sen. Jim Nielsen says he doesn’t think the state can afford Newsom’s ambitious proposals.

But he says he hopes to work with the new governor on wildfire management.

Assembly Republican leader Marie Waldron says she hopes the two can find common ground.


12:25 p.m.

California’s new governor says his policy goals include lowering prescription drug costs, increasing affordable housing and ending the use of private prisons.

Gov. Gavin Newsom didn’t provide details in his broad pronouncements Monday as he was sworn in to office.

The Democratic governor says he’ll try to use the market power of the most populous state to lower prescription drug costs and mount what he called a “Marshall Plan” to spur affordable housing.

The Marshall Plan was a massive U.S. effort to rebuild European countries devastated by World War II. Newsom promised a similar “statewide mission” to tackle what he called a “homeless epidemic.”

He also promised to “end the outrage of private prisons,” though California has depended on private facilities to meet a federal population cap on inmates.


12:25 p.m.

California’s new governor is promising the most populous state will be a “sanctuary to all who seek it” in a direct affront to President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom challenged the Trump administration repeatedly as he was sworn in to office Monday, particularly on immigration.

He says children should not be “ripped away from their parents” at the border. He says they also shouldn’t be left hungry while Trump seems to spend billions of dollars on “a wall that should never be built.”

Newsom also referred to the administration as corrupt and incompetent and promised California will “write America’s future.”

The former San Francisco mayor became the state’s 40th governor, succeeding the term-limited Jerry Brown.


12:15 p.m.

Gavin Newsom is officially California’s new governor.

California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye administered the oath of office Monday in a white tent outside the Capitol.

A protester disrupted, shouting that the death of police Cpl. Ronil Singh was on Newsom’s hands. Authorities say a man in the country illegally killed the officer.

The man was quickly removed, and the crowd began chanting “Gavin! Gavin!”

Newsom started his inaugural address, saying California is united and a model for the nation.

But he says the state faces challenges from the “powerful forces arrayed against us,” including politicians in Washington, the gun lobby, polluters and prescription drugmakers.

Newsom says the state must confront the gap between rich and poor, a homeless epidemic, an achievement gap in schools and chronic hunger. He calls them “moral imperatives.”


10:15 a.m.

California’s top legal official has been sworn in to his first full term in office and is promising to protect Californians from “the overreach of the federal government.”

Democrat Xavier Becerra was among the first inaugurations of California’s constitutional officers Monday. He took his oath hours before Gavin Newsom takes over as governor from Jerry Brown.

In a challenge to President Donald Trump, Becerra told supporters “our state builds dreams, not walls.”

Brown appointed Becerra two years ago to succeed Kamala Harris as attorney general after she won a seat in the U.S. Senate. The former congressman says he has since filed or joined more than 100 briefs and other legal actions against Trump’s administration.

The state’s first Latino attorney general was retained for a four-year term by nearly two-thirds of voters in November’s election.


7:30 a.m.

Incoming California Gov. Gavin Newsom will portray the state as an example for the nation and set immediate battle lines with the White House in his inaugural address.

That’s according to excerpts of the speech released by his campaign.

Newsom will be sworn in Monday afternoon as California’s 40th governor.

He’ll step up his already harsh criticisms of President Donald Trump and say it’s up to California to “write America’s future.”

He says California will be “progressive, principled and always on the side of people” compared to a White House that is full of “corruption and incompetence.”

The former San Francisco mayor also says he’ll strive to give rural Californians a voice in Sacramento and show people who feel forgotten that he cares.


12 a.m.

California Gov. Jerry Brown is passing his title to fellow Democrat Gavin Newsom.

Newsom will be sworn in Monday as California’s 40th governor.

It marks a generational shift for California’s leadership. Newsom is 51, while Brown is 80.

It’s the first time California has elected two Democrats in a row since the late 1800s. The Newsom and Brown families have a long history dating back to the 1940s.

Newsom says he wants to carry on Brown’s legacy, but he’s also prepared to set his own course. He’ll outline broad themes of his governorship in his inaugural address. He’s already promised more investments in early childhood education and set ambitious goals on housing and health care.

Newsom, his wife and four children will move into the governor’s mansion in Sacramento.

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