Dunleavy sworn in, says public safety will be top priority of his administration
At the swearing in ceremony in Kotzebue, Gov. Dunleavy delivered a speech to those in attendance at the makeshift production, which Dunleavy said was organized with only an hour and a half worth of notice.
In his speech, Dunleavy underscored the main goals of his governorship, and outlined the path that brought him to Alaska, first in rural communities, and all the way to the Governor's mansion.
"This is your government. I am your governor," Dunleavy said, underscoring the fact that while he's being sworn in, it's not Gov. Walker passing authority to him, the authority is coming right from the voters.
"Public safety will be my top priority as Governor," Dunleavy said. "We're not going to tolerate any more sexual assaults. We're not going to tolerate any more crimes against children."
Drawing a comparison between different regions in which Dunleavy has lived in the state of Alaska, Dunleavy assured those in attendance in Kotzebue, as well as those viewing along in Noorvik and online, that rural Alaska is the focus not only of his campaign, but of his government.
"We never forgot about rural Alaska. You're not going to be an afterthought," Dunleavy said.
In addition to Dunleavy speaking, others also stood before the Kotzebue crowd and gave statements, including the newly-sworn in Lieutenant Governor, Kevin Meyer, and Dunleavy's wife, Rose, the now-First Lady of Alaska.
In his statements, Lt. Gov. Meyer said he wants Alaskans to prosper above all else, saying, "We're going to do everything we can to make that happen."
Meyer said that the biggest obstacle that the administration faces now, is restoring every Alaskan's trust in government. "We need your help, we need your energy," Meyer said.
Rose Dunleavy, the First Lady of Alaska, thanked those in rural Alaska and across the state "for embracing Mike," and said that he really understands the struggles of living in rural Alaska. "Everything is tied to the land," she said in her speech.
Moving forward with the formal ceremonies, Dunleavy said the administration still intends to go to Noorvik when possible, and that there was a separate ceremony planned in Wasilla, their other home, for Tuesday.
Mike Dunleavy is poised to take the oath of Governor and be sworn in for that role, along with his LT. Gov., Kevin Meyer. That will be happening in Kotzebue, and not Noorvik as was previously planned.
We'll be showing both the swearing in ceremony in Kotzebue, and the planned party in Noorvik where the Kotzebue officials will be viewed, can be viewed live below:
Mike Dunleavy, Alaska's next governor, will be sworn in in Kotzebue alongside his Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer. In what is a classic story about trying to reach a village in Alaska weather has impacted the plans. Fog has made it difficult, and unsafe to land, so Dunleavy and the judge who will swear him in were diverted to Kotzebue. Sarah Ward-Erkmann, a spokesperson for Dunleavy, says a freelance photographer has been hired to take pictures of the ceremony in the larger community of Kotzebue.
A large lunch, big enough for 600, including a sheetcake with a giant picture of Alaska will still be enjoyed by the people of Noorvik and a ceremony that includes singing by the children of Noorvik will continue.
It's unclear if Dunleavy will attempt to come here later in the day, if the weather improves.
In what has become a dramatic twist to Mike Dunleavy being sworn into office to become Alaska's next governor, a storm may impact his ability to even reach Noorvik, which is where the ceremony is supposed to happen.
By law, Dunleavy must be sworn in by noon on Monday. According to officials, he should know by 9:45 a.m. if he'll be able to make it to Noorvik in time for the noon deadline.
Dunleavy is flying with a judge now, and they left Anchorage this morning with the hope the weather will improve soon. With any luck, he'll be able to get to the small village just east of Kotzebue.
If that doesn't happen, Dunleavy plans to either fly to Kotzebue, or be sworn in, in the air, by the judge.
People in Noorvik are still moving ahead with plans for the large feast and arriving at the school with the anticipation the day will proceed as scheduled.