COLUMBUS — Greene County native Mike DeWine officially began his second term as governor during a private swearing-in ceremony at his Cedarville home Sunday,
On Monday after the ceremonial swearing in at the statehouse, DeWine said he enters his second term with more optimism than ever for Ohio and a host of ambitions that could have lasting impact, including to make it the nation’s best state for mental health treatment and research.
In his inauguration speech, the former U.S. senator praised Ohioans’ resilience during the coronavirus pandemic and thanked Ohio voters for giving him and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted more time to work on “unfinished business.”
“Four years ago, in this historic capitol on this very spot, I took the oath of office to become your governor,” DeWine said. “We celebrated then and we celebrate today what has made Ohio great — our faith, our families, and our friends. To my fellow citizens of Ohio — thank you. Thank you for the trust and the responsibility that you have given me.”
Quoting beloved former Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes, who once said “you win with people,” DeWine said Ohio’s greatness has come from its people.
“Here in Ohio, lets be honest, we like to do things our own way,” DeWine said. “We like to do it the Ohio way. We get up in the morning. We go to work. We make things. We invent things. We do things. And in Ohio, we have elected historically leaders who focus on the things that really matter to our families and to our communities. We’re pragmatic. We’re ‘no drama.’ ”
DeWine said this is Ohio’s time to shine.
He said his administration is working to rid Ohio of the the stigma that comes with addiction and mental illness.
“And we will transform Ohio into the best state in the nation for mental health treatment; the best state in the nation for mental health research; and the best state in the nation for mental health prevention,” he said.
Financially, Ohio is in great shape, DeWine noted.
“Our economy is surging,” he said. “We are red hot. Our state budget is on firm footing. Our bond rating is the highest it has been since 1979. Manufacturing is flourishing. We have always been a great manufacturing state. But now — now we are bringing to Ohio the highest tech manufacturing known to man and the world is taking notice. Ohio is a state on the move.”
DeWine issued an open invitation for people to move to here.
“To those living outside of Ohio across the country, let me say this: If you want to raise a family, get a good-paying job, and have an amazing quality of life — come to Ohio,” he said. “If you want to start or grow a business in a state with low taxes, reasonable regulations — I say to you, come to Ohio. If you want to live within driving distance, no matter where you live in the state, if you want to live within driving distance of amazing art, theater, and major sports teams — come to Ohio. If you want to live in a state with 75 — soon to be 76 — amazing, beautiful state parks then come to Ohio. If you want to get a great education — then enroll in one of Ohio’s 14 world-class public universities, or one of our 74 private colleges and universities, or one of our 23 community colleges.”
The governor then reminded those in attendance that Ohio has always been a welcoming place, especially to people who seek freedom from oppression.
“If you are a legal immigrant who has recently come to this country looking to build a better life for your family, to earn a living, to create a home, and contribute to your community, I invite you to come to Ohio, because you will be welcome here,” he said.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507. The Associated Press contributed to this story.