In­au­gu­ral day march­ing or­ders

Northam raises about $1.9 mil­lion for his in­au­gu­ra­tion events

The Washington Post - - METRO - BY GRE­GORY S. SCHNEIDER gre­gory.schneider@wash­post.com

On Fri­day, Vir­ginia Na­tional Guard mem­bers walked the grounds at the Vir­ginia State Capi­tol in Rich­mond for fi­nal prepa­ra­tions for In­au­gu­ra­tion Day on Satur­day. Gov.-elect Ralph Northam is to be sworn in at noon.

rich­mond — Houdon’s mar­ble statue of Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton in the Capi­tol Ro­tunda was dec­o­rated with green­ery Fri­day and the grounds echoed with mi­cro­phone checks as work­ers pre­pared for Satur­day’s in­au­gu­ra­tion of Demo­crat Ralph Shearer Northam as Vir­ginia’s 73rd gover­nor.

Northam, a Demo­crat, rode a wave elec­tion last fall in which his party smashed two decades of Repub­li­can dom­i­nance in the House of Del­e­gates and kept con­trol of the lieu­tenant gover­nor’s and at­tor­ney gen­eral’s seats.

Justin Fair­fax, a for­mer U.S. at­tor­ney from Fair­fax County, will be sworn in as lieu­tenant gover­nor — re­plac­ing Northam in that role. He be­comes only the sec­ond African Amer­i­can elected statewide in Vir­ginia his­tory, af­ter for­mer gover­nor L. Dou­glas Wilder. And Mark Her­ring will kick off his sec­ond term as at­tor­ney gen­eral.

They’ll work with a leg­is­la­ture still con­trolled by Repub­li­cans but with Democrats just shy of par­ity, the House split 51-49, the state Se­nate at 21-19.

The Gen­eral Assem­bly kicked off its ses­sion Wed­nes­day with broad calls for co­op­er­a­tion af­ter a political sea­son in­flamed by par­ti­san pas­sions over the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion. Al­though the fall elec­tion’s out­come was drawn out by state-funded re­counts and vote chal­lenges in close dis­tricts, the House man­aged to set aside ran­cor this week and unan­i­mously elect Repub­li­can M. Kirk­land Cox (R-Colo­nial Heights) as speaker.

Out­go­ing Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) called for unity in his fi­nal State of the Com­mon­wealth speech Wed­nes­day night. Pro­hib­ited by the state Con­sti­tu­tion from serv­ing a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive term, McAuliffe will hand over the Ex­ec­u­tive Man­sion to his friend and cho­sen suc­ces­sor, Northam. Mov­ing vans were spot­ted out­side the man­sion Fri­day.

Be­fore be­ing lieu­tenant gover­nor, Northam, 58, spent six years in the state Se­nate rep­re­sent­ing Norfolk and the East­ern Shore. A pe­di­atric neu­rol­o­gist and Army vet­eran, he grew up in Onan­cock, mak­ing him only the sec­ond gover­nor in state his­tory to hail from the re­mote East­ern Shore.

By the be­gin­ning of this week, Northam had raised an es­ti­mated $1.9 mil­lion for fes­tiv­i­ties re­lated to the in­au­gu­ra­tion, al­though fi­nal fig­ures will not be re­ported un­til March.

Among the ma­jor in­di­vid­ual donors are nurs­ing home ex­ec­u­tive W. Hey­wood Fralin, devel­oper Bruce Thomp­son, phi­lan­thropist Karen Schaufeld, busi­ness ex­ec­u­tive John Wynne and re­tired chief ex­ec­u­tive Gilmer G. Mi­nor III — each of whom gave $50,000, ac­cord­ing to the non­par­ti­san Vir­ginia Pub­lic Ac­cess Project.

The big­gest cor­po­rate donors in­clude Do­min­ion En­ergy and to­bacco gi­ant Al­tria, which both gave at least $50,000. Two as­so­ci­a­tions — the Vir­ginia Hospi­tal and Health­care As­so­ci­a­tion and the Vir­ginia Ca­ble Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions As­so­ci­a­tion — each gave $35,000, ac­cord­ing to VPAP.

Swear­ing-in cer­e­monies will start at noon on the por­tico of the Thomas Jef­fer­son-de­signed Capi­tol. Ris­ers for some 4,000 ex­pected guests have been un­der con­struc­tion on the lawn for more than two months.

The in­au­gu­ra­tion grand­stands will fea­ture rep­re­sen­ta­tives from ev­ery lo­cal­ity in Vir­ginia — a first, ac­cord­ing to Northam’s of­fice — and three UH-60 Black Hawk he­li­copters from the Vir­ginia Na­tional Guard will con­duct a fly­over of the in­au­gu­ral pa­rade.

Start­ing just af­ter the swearingin, the pa­rade will fea­ture 26 groups from across the state, in­clud­ing the Soul Squad march­ing band from Free­dom High School in Prince Wil­liam County; 30 fid­dlers from South­west Vir­ginia known as the Crooked Road Fid­dler Army; and Deb­o­rah Pratt, billed as the fastest oys­ter shucker in Vir­ginia.

JAHI CHIKWENDIU/THE WASH­ING­TON POST

STEVE HELBER/AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Vir­ginia Gov.-elect Ralph Northam, left, and Gov. Terry McAuliffe de­tail their leg­isla­tive pack­age Tues­day at the Capi­tol in Rich­mond.

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