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Lt. Gov. Austin Davis was sworn in Tuesday morning, the first Black person elected to the second-highest office in Pennsylvania and whose oath-taking marked the start of a new executive administration in the state.

The ceremonies in the ornate Senate chamber were to be followed at midday in another location by the inauguration of Gov.-elect Josh Shapiro.

Davis, a Democrat, is the son of a McKeesport hairdresser and a bus driver who grew up in the Mon Valley in western Pennsylvania. He later was elected to the state House of Representatives.

“The American dream is alive and well in Pennsylvania,” Davis told the crowded Senate chamber.

He said his grandparents — who included a steelworker and a railroad foreman who moved to the state from the Jim Crow-era South — would not in their “wildest dreams” believed their grandson would one day hold the second-highest office in the state.

The oath of office was administered by Allegheny Judge Kim Berkeley Clark, who noted that he was a model for “all the little boys and girls in Pennsylvania just like you” and urged him to “just be humble.”

Clark told Davis that everyone present got to where they are with the help of others.

Davis studied political science at the University of Pittsburgh. He got a job in government as senior advisor to the Allegheny County executive, and then in 2018 mounted a successful run for the House from the 35th District.

During his four years in the House, he was vice chair of the House Democratic Policy Committee and served on a number of committees, including Appropriations, Consumer Affairs, Insurance, and Transportation.

Morning 첥Ƶ Capitol correspondent Ford Turner can be reached at fturner@mcall.com

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