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Government & Politics

Gianforte Sworn In As Montana Governor

Republican Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte and Lt. Gov. Kristen Juras are sworn in during a small ceremony at the Capitol on Jan. 4, 2021.
Montana Public Affairs Network
Republican Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte and Lt. Gov. Kristen Juras are sworn in during a small ceremony at the Capitol on Jan. 4, 2021.

Greg Gianforte was sworn in as Montana’s 25th governor Monday. He’s the state’s first Republican chief executive in 16 years.

Greg Gianforte was sworn in as Montana’s 25th governor Monday. He’s the state’s first Republican chief executive in 16 years.

After taking his oath of office during a small, livestreamed ceremony at the Capitol, Gianforte said he will tackle Montana’s economic comeback by lowering taxes, improving infrastructure and cutting what he calls unnecessary red tape.

“Let me say loudly and clearly to job creators, entrepreneurs and business owners in our state and beyond: Montana is open for business,” he said.

Gianforte said voters provided him a mandate to make state government more responsive and offer a “better customer service experience to citizens.” The former congressman said state government also needs to rein in what he calls out of control spending while continuing to provide essential services.

“We must be better stewards of taxpayer money. We must run our state government more efficiently," Gianforte said.

Gianforte didn’t announce any executive action during his first day in office and hasn’t yet released his administration’s plans to manage the coronavirus pandemic, which he previously said would come out after his inauguration.

After mentioning the nearly 1,000 Montanans who have died from COVID-19, Gianforte said pandemic induced isolation has led to more domestic violence, child abuse and drug use.

“I am confident that with vaccines and increased testing we will get a better handle on our response to COVID-19,” he said.

Great Falls attorney Kristen Juras was also sworn in as lieutenant governor Monday. Republicans now control the statehouse with larger legislative majorities after a strong showing during the November election.

Gianforte said he’s willing to work with anyone, Republican, Democrat or Independent, who has a good idea.

His transition team didn’t provide widespread in person media access to the swearing in ceremony with an opportunity to ask questions due to the event’s 25 person limit. The Montana Public Affairs Network instead broadcast the ceremony for coverage.