CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Most of Virginia’s congressional delegation was on Capitol Hill Wednesday afternoon for President Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Democrats and Republicans were a part of the socially-distanced and masked ceremony, but one central Virginia representative was not there.
“This is America’s day. This is democracy’s day,” said President Joe Biden during his 21-minute-long speech during his inauguration.
It was a day of tradition in the most untraditional of ways. Rep. Abigail Spanberger, a Democrat who represents Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, was there.
“It was a beautiful event and particularly incredible given that just two weeks ago there was an insurrection on this very place,” she said in a video posted to Twitter from Capitol Hill.
Before President Biden took the oath of office, Spanberger said she hopes the leadership change will help the country move on.
“We are in fact moving forward as a nation past this dark stain and ideally getting to a point where we are contending with real challenges facing our country,” she said.
Virginia’s 6th District Rep. Ben Cline, a Republican, was also in attendance on Wednesday. He voted against certifying Biden’s win on the same day of the violent insurrection at the Capitol.
In a statement, he says he was at the inauguration “out of respect for the office of the presidency and to commemorate the peaceful transfer of power.”
Virginia’s 5th District Rep. Bob Good, a freshman Republican, was not at Biden’s inauguration. He says he’ll work to find “common ground” with the Biden Administration, but is “deeply concerned about their policy objectives” which he says will “diminish the freedoms, prosperity, safety, and security of all Americans.”
That view on Biden’s first actions as President wasn’t shared by all Virginians. Sen. Tim Kaine, a Democrat, said Biden’s executive orders, including those on the climate crisis and economic relief, was “the first step in undoing the damage of the previous four years.”