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Governor Evers calls for return to "Wisconsin values" in inauguration speech

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MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Governor Tony Evers said his inauguration is about something more important than himself, more important than issues, and more important than parties after he took the oath of office Monday in Madison.

“How about this?" Evers asked. "Kindness and respect, empathy and compassion, and integrity and civility.”

While Attorney General Josh Kaul made part of his speech about the lame duck session stripping power from him and the new governor, Evers didn’t mention it once. He said people need to come before politics.

“We’ve become paralyzed by polarity, and we’ve become content with division. We’ve become indifferent to resentment and governing by retribution.”

Mandela Barnes became the state’s first-ever African American Lieutenant Governor once he took the oath of office. He is only the second ever African American to be elected to statewide office in Wisconsin. Barnes says he will focus the office on sustainability and equity.

“That starts with access to great healthcare, great schools in our neighborhood, and clean and safe drinking water in our homes. A person’s zip code should never determine their destiny in the state of Wisconsin,” Barnes said. 

Evers said change needs to come to state schools, healthcare and roads., but he said the state can only accomplish that change working together.

“We must dare to make space for hope here once again. And today we turn toward the future, and we move forward together.”

Evers attended an inaugural gala in Madison after the speech. He ended the speech saying "Let's polka tonight and get to work tomorrow."

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