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Justin Fairfax sworn in as lieutenant governor

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Posted at 11:31 PM, Jan 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-14 23:31:34-05

RICHMOND, Va. – Justin Fairfax, the man replacing Ralph Northam as Virginia's lieutenant governor, was also sworn in during the inauguration on Saturday.

For the Geller family, the most exciting moment of Saturday's inauguration had personal flair.

"It's an exciting day for Virginia, and Justin Fairfax is a friend of ours,” Geller said. “These are the kinds of role models I want for my children."

Fairfax is only the second African-American in Virginia history to serve as a statewide office holder.

Thirty years ago, former Governor Doug Wilder was the first and he was in attendance as Fairfax took the oath of office.

“My sense is what Fairfax is going to try to do is to position himself as somebody who is really connecting himself with the progressive wing of the Democratic party."

Political analyst Dr. Bob Holsworth said Fairfax likely looks at Wilder's path as his road forward.

Outside of casting tie breaking votes in the Virginia Senate, the lieutenant governor's role holds much less power than the governorship.

Holsworth said that role gives someone with higher political aspirations a platform and their political opponents, in this case Republicans, a chance for something else.

"They may try to engineer some tie votes where he may have to do something that is relatively unpopular,” Holsworth added. “The question for Justin Fairfax is how well can he use that platform over the next four years to position himself as a potential gubernatorial candidate."