“Love and light”: Utah lawmakers react to Biden, Harris inauguration

Local Politics

President-elect Joe Biden, his wife Jill Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff arrive at the steps of the U.S. Capitol for the start of the official inauguration ceremonies, in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(ABC4) – Wednesday morning, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were sworn in as President and Vice President of the United States of America. On this historical occasion, Utah lawmakers turned to social media to welcome the duo into the White House.

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Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson stated the following: “A new day. Hope provided by @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris. Better days for America are ahead. I’m proud to support in my community and look forward to a cooperative and supportive Federal government.”

“It’s an exciting day for America. I’m hopeful the future brings unity to our nation & that we do incredible things together. As a capital city mayor, I look forward to the Biden-Harris Admin’s work on local issues from transportation to affordable housing funding to vaccinations,” Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said on Twitter.

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Mendenhall also acknowledged the historical occasion of America’s first female Vice President being sworn into office: “And I’m so excited to be alive to see the swearing-in of @VP @KamalaHarris! What a momentous day for American women.”

“Today’s #InaugurationDay occurs at a difficult time for our nation. I pray that President Biden will call upon our better angels, uniting the nation at a time of division,” said Utah Senator Mitt Romney.

Governor Spencer Cox issued the following statement:

“Today we celebrate a cherished cornerstone of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power. Over the past four years, President Trump listened to Utah and we thank him for his service. As President Biden takes office, we look forward to working with him in advancing the vital interests of Utahns.”

He offered additional support for the new president and vice president:

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“Sadly, with the legislative session beginning, vaccine distribution decisions daily, and our State of the State speech tomorrow, Abby and I were unable to attend the inauguration. But our sincerest prayers are w Pres. Biden and VP Harris. Their success is America’s success.”

Former Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert also shared his support for the new president with the following statement:

“Congratulations to Joseph R. Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States. His desire to unite the nation is a goal that we can all share.”

“On Monday we celebrated the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. He spoke many famous words but for me, I can’t stop hearing these insightful words over and over in my mind.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

If we are truthful we must admit that today’s norm is to respond to darkness and hate with more darkness and hate. This will not stop the cycle, “only love can do that.”

That doesn’t mean we can’t have tough and rigorous debate. It doesn’t mean we can’t disagree. It doesn’t mean we won’t become angry or upset. But it does mean that we must guard our response. Every one of us that has responded with darkness or hate on social media, every one of us that has spread rumors, referred to those who disagree with us with darkness or hate must bear some of the responsibility for the lack of light that surrounds us as a nation.

Although I may have philosophical differences with the President, I have tremendous respect for the Office. My attendance should stand as my commitment to wake up every morning and look in the mirror as I ask myself if I’m an agent for hate and darkness or for love and light,” Representative John Curtis said in part of a longer statement.

Senator Mike Lee said: “It was an honor to witness President Biden swear to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States today. We may not agree on everything, but I know we share common ground on some key issues like criminal justice reform and tax relief for working families. I hope we can turn these agreements into real bipartisan legislative success.”

Representative Chris Stewart stated yesterday: “I wish the new Administration well as they begin their service to our great nation tomorrow afternoon.”

Watch Representative Stewart and Senator Romney’s exclusive interviews with ABC4 on the eve of the presidential inauguration.

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...