JEFFERSON CITY --Jay Nixon was sworn in as Governor of Missouri Jan. 12, by Chief Justice Laura Stith on the south steps of the Capitol. He was sworn in with his left hand placed on an old black leather Bible that has been passed down through his family since the 1700's.
Nixon, 52, defeated Republican Kenny Hulshof in November by nearly 19 percentage points. Nixon easily carried Oregon County in the November election 2,710 votes to Hulshof's 1,742 votes.
Nixon is the 55th governor of Missouri and the state's longest serving attorney general, holding that position for 16 years.
During his inaugural address Nixon called for lawmakers to put aside partisan power struggles. He also promised, "A new day for Missouri."
"To bring about a new day in Missouri, we'll need to implement new policies. But the new day will not be possible unless there is a new tone in Jefferson City. Because for many years, politics and partisanship have stood in the way of progress and the people of Missouri are tired of it," he told the crowd.
Following the ceremony, the new governor met with a small group of young entrepreneurs and small business owners to discuss his JOBS plan.
A potluck meal followed, feeding about a thousand people at the Capitol Plaza Hotel. During his campaign he said if he was elected governor his inauguration would include the largest potluck dinner in Missouri history.
There were 1,000 hamburgers and hot dogs, 125 pounds of tossed salad, 250 pounds of potato salad and baked beans and 20 gallons of iced tea.
Nixon is a native of DeSoto, Mo. His mother was a teacher and his father was the mayor of the small community and also served as police judge for the community.
As attorney general for 16 years, Nixon earned a reputation for taking on tough fights and most of the time winning. One of Nixons most successful programs was the popular No-Call List. It has become a model for other states across the country.
A spokesperson for Nixon's office said he has put forward an agenda to make Missouri government more efficient, effective and responsible to the needs of Missouri families.
He has said he is dedicated to attracting more jobs to the state, making health care more affordable and placing a college education within the reach for middle-class students.
Gov. Nixon and his wife Georganne have two sons, Jeremiah and Will.