Democrat Tony Evers was sworn in as Wisconsin’s 46th governor on Monday. Evers ousted now former Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Evers says he’s ready to get to work but acknowledges there will be challenges.
He says the November election proved one thing: Wisconsinites are ready for change. And that change is now on its way, he adds.
“We’ve become paralyzed by polarity, and we’ve become content with division. We’ve become indifferent to resentment and governing by retribution. We’ve gotten away from who we are and the values that make Wisconsin great. Not Republican or Democratic values, but our Wisconsin values,” Evers said.
While Evers is a Democrat, the Wisconsin Legislature is led by Republicans. After the November election, GOP lawmakers, in a lame-duck session, passed a number of laws that critics say lessen the power of the governor’s office. That legislation was signed by Walker. Legal challenges are expected. But at the Capitol Monday, in true Wisconsin form, Evers told the crowd to have a little fun before getting to work.
“Folks, let’s polka tonight and get to work tomorrow. On Wisconsin,” Evers said.
New Attorney General Josh Kaul also took the oath of office Monday. In his speech, he took aim at the GOP legislation passed during the lame-duck session and vowed to shift his office's focus to the environment and consumer protection.