ATLANTA — Nathan Deal was sworn in yesterday as Georgia’s 82d governor, ushering in a GOP sweep that will see Republicans take the helm of every statewide office.
A rare Georgia snowstorm forced the ceremony from the steps of the Capitol to the shelter of the House chamber.
Republicans won every statewide elected office in November’s general election and have also gained seats in the state Legislature, completing a political transformation that began in the state in 2002. Deal, a former congressman, was elected with 53 percent of the vote, defeating Democrat Roy Barnes. He replaces Republican Sonny Perdue, who was barred by term limits from running for a third time.
In Springfield, Ill., Democrat Pat Quinn was sworn in to a full term as Illinois governor, two years after he got the job when his predecessor, Rod Blagojevich, was kicked out of office, leaving behind an immense budget crisis. Quinn offered promises to solve the state’s fiscal crisis but no firm details of how it would be done.
In Ohio, Republican John Kasich succeeded one-term Democrat Ted Strickland as governor, promising a businessman’s approach to policy that he hopes can restore economic security and add jobs.