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The Latest: Mills calls for unity in inaugural address

January 3, 2019

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Latest on the inauguration of Maine Gov. Janet Mills. (all times local):

7:50 p.m.

Maine’s new governor is vowing to restore “unity” after eight years of partisanship under Republican Gov. Paul LePage. Democrat Janet Mills said Wednesday evening, “we are all in this together.”

Without mentioning LePage by name, Mills swore to restore civil discourse in Maine politics. She cited former Gov. Israel Washburn’s 1861 inaugural vow to wave “aside petty schemes and unseemly wrangles.”

She said diversity is a virtue and that she’ll welcome all, including Maine’s newcomers and immigrants, to the conversation about the state’s future.

She said the state must find its “own common ground, expand our horizons and become one Maine again.

She concluded the speech by saying, “Welcome home.”

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7:40 p.m.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills is vowing to fight global warming, expand access to health care, improve education and develop a “world-class workforce.”

She vowed to expand Medicaid, as mandated by voters, and embrace clean energy including wind energy. She said solar panels will be installed on the Blaine House.

She also says her administration will create an Office of Innovation and the Future that will dive into major policy challenges and propose workable solutions.

Mills, the first woman to be elected governor in Maine, delivered her address Wednesday evening to state lawmakers, tribal leaders, members of the military and others at the Augusta Civic Center. Her first full day on the job is Thursday.

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7:30 p.m.

Maine’s new governor is launching her inaugural address by talking about making history.

Democrat Janet Mills said Wednesday evening that she wasn’t referring to being the first woman to serve as governor in Maine. She said she was talking about being the first person from Franklin County to reside in the Blaine House.

On a more serious note, she said that she’s happy that future generations “will wonder what the fuss was about.” She said she looks forward to women being elected to high office as being “commonplace, like drinking milk or eating toast.”

Mills is delivering her address to state lawmakers, tribal leaders, members of the military and others at the Augusta Civic Center. Her first full day on the job will be on Thursday.

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7:20 p.m.

Maine has a new governor. Democrat Janet Mills took the oath of office Wednesday evening, and Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap offered a spirited proclamation.

Mills swept aside six opponents in her June primary race and then won a three-way general election with 51 percent of the vote to become the first woman elected governor in Maine.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage was prevented from seeking another term because of term limits.

He did not attend the event at the Augusta Civic Center. The outgoing governor wished the new governor well but also warned he’ll be “watching” as Mills leads the state. He has said previously that he might run again if he doesn’t like what Mills does as governor.

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3:40 p.m.

Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage is saying farewell.

LePage tweeted Wednesday that it was the “privilege of a lifetime” to serve two terms as governor.

The businessman who was born into poverty and was homeless for a time as a boy said “I’ve truly lived the American dream & have tried to make it easier for Mainers to do the same.”

LePage is largely staying out of the way as his successor, Democrat Janet Mills, is inaugurated Wednesday evening at the Augusta Civic Center.

LePage plans to spend the winter at his home in Florida, and will return to Maine for the summers. He’s said he’ll return to run for a third term if he doesn’t like what happens while Mills is in office. He said Wednesday, “I will be watching.”

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2:30 p.m.

Ceremonial festivities are beginning ahead of the inauguration of Maine’s first female governor.

Maine lawmakers on Wednesday afternoon began the process of delivering a formal message to Democratic Gov.-elect Janet Mills informing her of her election.

Mills will later hold a reception at the governor’s residence for her family.

The oath of office will take place around 7:30 p.m. at the Augusta Civic Center. Mills will then deliver her inaugural address.

Term-limited Republican Gov. Paul LePage is not set to attend the inaugural and tweeted that he wishes Mills well. The outgoing governor has warned of running again and said Wednesday he’ll be “watching” as Mills leads the state.

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12:08 a.m.

Maine’s outgoing Democratic attorney general is set to be sworn in as the state’s first female governor.

The inauguration of Gov.-elect Janet Mills is scheduled for Wednesday evening at Augusta’s civic center.

Mills’ grandchildren will lead the pledge of allegiance. Former state poet laureate Wesley McNair is set to read an original work.

Outgoing Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s spokeswoman says he isn’t attending the ceremony. He’ll vacate the governor’s residence early to allow Mills’ family to have a pre-inauguration luncheon.

Mills vows her “open door” administration will move past the divisive politics of the LePage era. She says she’ll expand Medicaid, tackle the opioid crisis and promote renewable energy.

Mills’ inaugural and transition committees face a deadline Wednesday for financial disclosure statements. Voters approved a 2015 law requiring such disclosure.

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