Row Offices Inaugurated, Shapiro Pledges To Stand Up To Trump

Jan 18, 2017

Josh Shapiro speaks to the crowd after being sworn in as Pennsylvania's attorney general at the Whitaker Center in Harrisburg, Pa. on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017.
Credit Chris Knight / AP

The three top state row officers—all Democrats—have taken their oaths of office in separate ceremonies.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale is beginning his second term, while Treasurer Joe Torsella and Attorney General Josh Shapiro are new to their respective offices.

Thanks in large part to the last elected Attorney General—Kathleen Kane, who has been convicted of perjury and obstruction—Shapiro’s election to the office has had the highest profile.

At his swearing-in at Harrisburg’s Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts, the former Montgomery County Commissioner made an enthusiastic pledge to follow the rules of his new office to a T.

“You know before we can move forward, we must acknowledge the turmoil this office has seen, and dedicate ourselves to insuring that every decision we make is rooted in integrity,” he told the audience.

Throughout the ceremony, the phrase “the people’s attorney general” seemed to be everywhere.

It was a line used throughout Shapiro’s campaign, and in his inaugural address he doubled down on both it, and his progressive platform. 

“Anyone who tries to roll back your rights will have to go through me,” he said. “I won’t be afraid to stand up to anyone. From the president of the United States, to a multi-national company, to a dealer on the street corner.”

Shapiro says he’ll soon sign an overhauled code of conduct for the office.

DePasquale and Torsella took their oaths amid a little less pomp and circumstance—DePasquale in a hearing room at the Keystone Building, near the Capitol and Torsella at a Harrisburg middle school.