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The Latest: Northam signs order outlawing discrimination

Gov. Ralph Northam salutes the Virginia Military Corp of Cadets during inaugural ceremonies at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. Northam is a graduate of the school. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Latest on Ralph Northam’s inauguration as Virginia’s 73rd governor (all times local):

2:40 p.m.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has signed an order outlawing discrimination in the state workforce as his first official act.

Northam, a Democrat, signed the executive order Saturday shortly after taking the oath of office as the 73rd governor of Virginia.

The executive order mirrors one previously issued by Northam’s predecessor, Terry McAuliffe.

The order also directs state agencies to try and recruit qualified minority, women, disabled and older job applicants.

Northam, who won last November’s election thanks in part to a strong surge in voters unhappy with President Donald Trump, has pledged to make Virginia more welcoming.

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2:35 p.m.

A parade with participants from across Virginia has kicked off to celebrate the inauguration of Gov. Ralph Northam.

Members of the Virginia National Guard were at the start of the procession, which rolled by the Capitol’s south portico where Northam took his oath of office and was looking on.

Also marching was the Virginia Military Institute Corps of Cadets.

Northam, a graduate of VMI, addressed the cadets, saying, “I am proud to be one of you.”

Other participants included The Crooked Road Fiddle Army from southwest Virginia and service animals from Semper K9 Assistance Dogs from Prince William County. The dogs aid wounded, critically ill and injured members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

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1 p.m.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is promising to make politics less toxic and more productive.

Northam spoke Saturday shortly after taking the oath of office to a crowd gathered in dreary and cold weather on the south portico of the state Capitol. He made veiled critiques of the president while promising to govern with a “moral compass.”

The folksy doctor with a low-key charm easily won Virginia’s closely watched governor’s race in November, powered in large part by a surge of voters unhappy with the Trump administration. Democrats swept all three statewide offices and made major gains in the state House in a possible preview of this year’s mid-term elections.

Northam said he’s been trained as a doctor to offer a sympathetic ear. He said he’ll bring the same approach as governor.

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12:30 p.m.

Ralph Northam has been sworn in as Virginia’s 73rd governor.

The Democrat took the oath of office shortly after noon on a cold and dreary Saturday on the south portico of the state Capitol, which was designed by former governor Thomas Jefferson.

Northam easily won November’s election thanks to strong voter antipathy toward President Donald Trump. The pediatric neurologist campaigned on a promise to govern in a bipartisan manner while also standing up to the president.

Northam has also promised to try and expand Medicaid and enact stricter gun laws.

Several groups are taking part in the ceremony, including James Madison University’s marching band, the Virginia Military Institute Corps of Cadets and an oyster shucking champion.

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11:04 a.m.

Crowds have started to gather at the Virginia Capitol ahead of Ralph Northam’s inauguration as the state’s 73rd governor.

Northam is set to take the oath of office shortly after noon on a dreary and cold Saturday. The Democrat easily won November’s election thanks to strong voter antipathy toward President Donald Trump.

The ceremony will take place on the south portico of the state Capitol designed by Thomas Jefferson.

Linda Cunningham from Virginia Beach came with her daughter Lindsay, a Northam campaign volunteer, to the inauguration. Cunningham said she felt it was important for voters to be involved in state and local politics.

Several groups are taking part in the ceremony, including James Madison University’s marching band, the Virginia Military Institute Corps of Cadets and an oyster shucking champion.

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