Amid an audience of invited guests, Republican Ernie Fletcher officially became Kentucky's governor shortly past midnight.
Fletcher, joined by his wife, Glenna, was sworn in by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Joseph Lambert in a brief but elegant ceremony in the Capitol rotunda. With his hand on the Bible, Fletcher took the state's somewhat unusual oath of office - vowing he'd never fought in a duel.
Approximately 180 relatives, friends, supporters and public officials were on hand as Fletcher took the oath to become Kentucky's 60th governor.
The ceremony was a private affair. Fletcher was sworn in again today in a public ceremony at the Capitol.
As he took the podium to make his remarks, Fletcher called the moment "overwhelming." He said becoming governor marked a change for not only his own life, but the state.
"There are times in each of our lives, points where the direction changes," said Fletcher, adding he wanted to reach a point in history that would "not only change our lives, but change lives of Kentuckians."
Fletcher is the 56th person to have been governor since Kentucky became a state in 1792.
Eleven of Fletcher's predecessors, including outgoing Gov. Paul Patton, have twice taken the oath - either by ascending to a vacated governorship or as a result of two elections.
For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.