June Leffler Published

Gov. Jim Justice Inaugurated For A Second Term

Gov. Justice Inauguration 2021

State Supreme Court Justices, elected officials and Gov. Jim Justice were sworn in this afternoon, marking a subdued — and socially distanced — inauguration ceremony that was held outdoors at the state capitol.

It was an occasion to thank West Virginia’s public servants and reflect on the struggles of the past year.

Cedrick Farmer singer opera

Cedrick Farmer sang the national anthem at the 2021 inauguration. Farmer has performed in Charleston Light Opera Guild and West Virginia State theater productions.

Members of the state’s coronavirus task force thanked essential, medical and military personnel, while remembering those lost to COVID-19. More than 1,800 people have died in the state since the pandemic began.

Coronavirus czar Dr. Clay Marsh said West Virginians made the best of a devastating year.

“I’d like to thank each citizen for their commitment to protecting themselves and each other,” he said.

Justice noted efforts to improve tourism, curb opioid addiction and rescue three trapped miners during his first term. He touted West Virginia as a “diamond in the rough,” promoting the state’s beauty, its values and its economic potential that he said was simply waiting for outsiders to discover.

He said it was an honor to serve a second term as his family sat nearby on the capitol steps — and as cameras panned to Baby Dog, his English bulldog, who made a leashed appearance.


Baby Dog, Gov. Jim Justice’s English bulldog, says hello to the crowd at the 2021 inauguration.

“I thought really and truly if I gave four years of my life to serve and do it right, that would be enough, but there’s more to do,” he said.

Looking to the nation’s capital, Justice thanked former President Donald Trump and congratulated President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris.

At a virtual press briefing Thursday, Justice said he’s already spoken with the new administration regarding COVID-19 vaccine supplies.