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Who’s Dan McKee, Rhode Island’s new governor?

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Dan McKee was sworn in Tuesday because the 76th governor of Rhode Island.

Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea administered the oath of workplace to McKee, 69, a Democrat who was in his second time period as lieutenant governor within the nation’s smallest state.

McKee ascended to the governorship shortly after his predecessor, Gina Raimondo, after her nomination to develop into President Biden’s commerce secretary was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in an 84-15 vote. 

“I have the utmost confidence in you. You’re a proud Rhode Islander, a devoted public servant, an skilled government and a great man. You’ll serve our state honorably as its 76th governor,” Raimondo wrote in a letter of resignation that was delivered to McKee.

Earlier Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, had put a maintain on Raimondo’s affirmation, saying he believed Raimondo had not taken a harsh sufficient stance in opposition to Chinese language telecom large Huawei. 

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Dan McKee speaks during Rhode Island's weekly coronavirus news briefing in the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in the Rhode Island Statehouse in Providence, Feb. 11, 2021. (Getty Images)

Dan McKee speaks throughout Rhode Island’s weekly coronavirus information briefing within the Veterans Memorial Auditorium within the Rhode Island Statehouse in Windfall, Feb. 11, 2021. (Getty Pictures)

After taking the oath of workplace, McKee signed an government order that reportedly echoed the guarantees made by his predecessors, which he stated sure his administration “to the very best moral requirements,” studies stated. 

McKee is now tasked with placing collectively Rhode Island’s state finances in addition to dealing with the coronavirus pandemic which — in response to information from Johns Hopkins College — has killed greater than 2,500 folks in his state, WPRI-TV reported. 

Final month, McKee introduced the creation of a brand new panel to information his incoming administration’s response to the outbreak. After leaving the Statehouse, McKee advised reporters his quick focus shall be on vaccine distribution, in response to the station.

“I simply had just a few conferences upstairs on vaccination and getting the academics vaccinated,” McKee stated earlier than he obtained right into a automobile pushed by Rhode Island State Police. 

McKee’s background

McKee’s political profession began in Cumberland, R.I., the place he was elected to the city council in 1992. He would later go on to function mayor for 11 non-consecutive years starting in 2000 when he beat incumbent Francis Gaschen, in response to WPRI-TV.

Regardless of shedding his bid for re-election in 2004 to David Iwuc, he gained the workplace again in 2006 and held on to it till he was elected lieutenant governor in 2014. 

In 2014, McKee beat out Ralph Mollis and state Rep. Frank Ferri in a three-way Democratic major earlier than he defeated Republican nominee, Catherine Taylor, within the common election.

4 years later, he confronted off in opposition to progressive Democrat Rep. Aaron Regunberg, who secured the endorsement of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. McKee gained by roughly 2,500 votes.

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McKee is described as being much less liberal than Raimondo and is more likely to combat for small enterprise pursuits and constitution faculty training.

“You’re going to see a little bit extra reasonable administration than the Raimondo administration,” WPRI-TV political analyst Joe Fleming stated. “On the identical time, I don’t assume it’ll be too conservative. He’s looking forward to 2022 and being the energetic governor places him in a great place. If he goes too conservative it might harm him.”  

His help for constitution colleges resulted in him butting heads with the state’s largest public-sector unions over time.

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Fleming stated enhancing his relationship with the unions might go a good distance towards serving to his possibilities of getting elected in 2022 — as 1000’s of members at the moment are a part of his workforce, in response to the station. 

“It provides him one thing to work on over these two years – to try to mend some fences,” Fleming stated.

McKee may even be tasked with nominating the subsequent lieutenant governor, who should be accepted by the state Senate. 

“We’re prepared to assist the folks of the state of R.I. on this pandemic and past that,” he stated, in response to the Windfall Journal. 

The Related Press contributed to this report

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