CLEVELAND — On Wednesday, Ohio Congressmen, Congresswomen and state senators, both Republicans and Democrats, reacted to the Inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
U.S Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) attended the ceremony Wednesday and released the following statement:
“I extend my congratulations to President and Dr. Biden, as well as Vice President Harris and Mr. Emhoff, on today’s historic Inauguration. I had the honor of attending, and I look forward to working with the new administration on areas where we agree in order to make a difference in the lives of Ohioans and all Americans. When we disagree, I will do so respectfully. Public service is a noble calling and anyone who serves deserves the respect of the American people, regardless of political affiliation."
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) released the following statement after the inauguration, in part saying he looks forward to working with the Biden-Harris administration:
“Today, I join Ohioans and the rest of the nation in celebrating the historic inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. American workers will finally have someone on their side in the White House, and millions of girls – especially Black and brown girls - all over the country are seeing that there is no limit to their dreams, and they belong in every room where decisions are made. I look forward to working with President Biden, Vice President Harris and my colleagues to rise to meet the challenges before us, bring our country together and continue our fight for the Dignity of Work."
Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), the longest-serving woman in the history of the House of Representatives, released the following statement:
“Today, the American experiment endures. Nothing speaks to the health of democracy as clearly as the inauguration of a new President. The inauguration of President Joe Biden as our 46th President and Vice President Kamala Harris, the first woman and person of color in history to be elected to the office, is cause for so much hope. The American people sought a new course for our country, a helping hand as they struggle to regain their footing from a worldwide pandemic. With their swearing in, President Biden and Vice President Harris bring anew to the Capital the hopes and dreams of all Americans that our great nation may meet its full promise. I look forward to working closely with President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to achieve great successes for the people of Ohio and the nation – they deserve nothing less.”
U.S. Representative Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), who joined nine other Republican colleagues and all voting Democrats in the House of Representatives to vote to impeach President Donald Trump released the following statement:
See my full statement on the Inauguration of President Biden below. pic.twitter.com/0jPaqpIAMT— Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (@RepAGonzalez) January 20, 2021
Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH), who attended the inauguration of Biden and Harris, stated:
"Inaugurations represent the peaceful transition of power that are a pillar of our nation’s democracy. I’m proud to have now attended five presidential inaugurations, regardless of whether or not I voted for who was elected. While I did not vote for President Biden and Vice President Harris, I wish them nothing but the best because the fact of the matter is that their success is the American people’s success. We will not always agree on how to achieve that success, but I will always be willing to reach across the aisle with the respect and civility necessary for us to work together so that we can effectively tackle the challenges facing our country."
Attending the inauguration as Joyce’s guest was Reverend Leah Daughtry, who he invited on behalf of his fellow Buckeye, Rep. Marcia Fudge. Reverend Daughtry has served as a Resident Fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, was formerly the Acting Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management at the U.S. Department of Labor, and was the CEO of the 2008 and 2016 Democratic National Convention Committees.
“I was glad to offer my guest ticket to Congresswoman Fudge and invite Reverend Daughtry to be my guest to today’s inaugural ceremonies,” Joyce said. “Maintaining a friendship with those you don’t see eye to eye with politically doesn’t require you to stray from your principles or force you to adopt views you’re fundamentally opposed to. For too long we have denied one another the chance to be seen not as a member of a particular political party, but as men and women with values, families and loved ones, and experiences that have shaped who we are and what we stand for. I’m hopeful that as we enter the 117th Congress, we can leave the toxic red team versus blue team mentality at the door and remember how work together as Americans."
State Representative Juanita Brent (D-Cleveland) released a statement, speaking about Harris making history as the first woman, first Black and South Asian American as the country’s Vice President:
“I am thrilled for the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the next President and Vice President of the United States. Last November, the American people chose unity over division and hope over fear. I am looking forward to working with the new administration to build back our country and state better than before. I know that together, we will create an economy that works for all and ensures that all Ohioans, all Americans, do not just get by, but can get ahead. Today brings hope to so many Americans who are struggling during this pandemic, facing healthcare disparities, fighting for criminal justice reform and the cancellation of student loan debt, and anyone who is longing for better lives and brighter futures.
"And, starting today, we will have a Vice President that looks like me. Today’s inauguration shows us all that there is no ceiling women in the United States cannot, and will not, break. I am so excited for all of the little girls, especially Black girls, who will see themselves and know they, too, can be Vice President of the United States. I send my warmest wishes and congratulations to Kamala Harris as she becomes the first woman, Black and Asian American to serve as our nation’s Vice President. Today is a new day in our nation, and I am hopeful for our future.”
State Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton) released a statement speaking on the work that needs to be done to address urgent crises facing the nation:
“Two months ago, Americans spoke resoundingly when they chose hope over fear and unity over division. Today, led by President Biden and Vice President Harris, we can turn the page and move forward to heal together, as a state and as a nation. It goes without saying that we have our work cut out for us with the urgent crises we still face – the continued fight against COVID-19, the ensuing economic crisis, systemic racism in our institutions and the aftermath of the violent insurrection at our Capitol. Nonetheless, led by this new administration, we can be confident in our ability to make real progress in combatting these crises and in restoring the promise of opportunity for each and every Ohioan.
"We can also take great pride in seeing Vice President Harris make history and break barriers for women, Black Americans and Asian Americans everywhere. The Biden-Harris administration truly reflects the diversity of our state and our country, as well as our most deeply held values. Today, we can hold our heads a little higher, celebrate this historic day, and look ahead to a better tomorrow – a tomorrow that brings better lives and brighter futures to all Ohioans and Americans regardless of race or ethnicity, faith, sexual orientation, gender identity, or ability."
State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) released a statement after the inauguration:
"I was not surprised when Donald Trump lost reelection, not just because of his handling of a global pandemic that has claimed over 400,000 American lives, but because Republican pollster Frank Luntz told me he would lose in the Summer of 2017. I had the opportunity to hear Luntz make a presentation when the 45th President was only 6 months into his term. At that time Luntz told the assembled audience that ‘Trump has lost the swing vote’. But it was other remarks he made that day that I held a lesson for myself.
"Luntz said (words to the effect of) Bill Clinton was the most polarizing President in American history, until George W. Bush, who was the most polarizing President in American history until Barack Obama who was the most polarizing President in American history until Donald Trump.
"I thought to myself then, ‘I have a responsibility to help lower the collective political temperature while still fighting for those who sent me to Columbus to advocate for their interests.’
"This was the tone I tried to send with my first remarks on the COVID crisis when on March 17th , I released a statement that included the following: ‘During the Ohio COVID-19 outbreak, it is my pledge to you, the residents of House District 8 and all of Ohio that I will, at all times, communicate essential information without politicizing the message. That does not mean that I will not be critical when I think it is called for. But I want you to know, my goal will be sharing helpful information and saving lives not banking votes or scoring political victories. I will be more concerned with actions rather than optics.’
"I supported Joe Biden early in the presidential campaign because I believed he was our nation’s best bet to restore the soul of America, build our economy back better and unify this nation. I believed that his knowledge of the systems of government and his personal relationships with leaders of both parties gave him a unique and important skillset that America so deeply needed in it is 245th year of existence as a representative democracy.
"I also believe that Kamala Harris is an outstanding choice as America’s Vice President. She is a woman of conviction, compassion and intelligence. I applauded her efforts to fight mortgage fraud and predatory lending, an issue I am well acquainted with, as the California Attorney General, and have been impressed with her work as a U.S. Senator.
"I believe America’s newest President and Vice President are arriving just in time. We have a pandemic running wild, an economy in ruins and the deep stains of an attempted violent insurrection where a lawless mob sought to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 American Presidential election.
"So, it is my prayer for America that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be able to lead our nation to brighter days. There will be tough times ahead both for Ohioans and Americans, but it is my hope that we will be able to get there together as a nation and a state. I stand willing to serve alongside them for the benefit of those I continue to represent. May God continue to bless the people of Ohio and the citizens of the United States."
Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish issued the following statement:
"It’s a new day in America and, quite frankly, the world. It’s a new day, but there is much work to be done. The pandemic has not abated, millions of people are without jobs and are on the verge of eviction or of losing their homes. Tens of thousands of businesses are closed or are in deep financial trouble. Our new president and vice-president have much work ahead of them. But I trust in their spirit of caring for ALL people across our great nation; of their commitment to equity and to their understanding that this is work we must do together as a nation united, not divided."