WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) — Timothy M. Kaine became Virginia’s 70th governor Saturday amid fife-and-drum flourishes, horsedrawn charm and a volley from Revolutionary-era cannons outside the state’s Colonial Capitol.

The inauguration, held in cold rain, returned to historic Williamsburg for the first time since Thomas Jefferson took the same oath here in 1779, just before state government fled to Richmond to elude British troops.

In a 15-minute speech to nearly 5,000 people huddled beneath rain slicks and ponchos, Kaine evoked the history of the place and the day, exhorting Virginia’s residents to pursue “the promise of Virginia” with the faith and perseverance of its first English settlers.

Afterward, he signed his first directive as governor: an executive order barring employment discrimination on the basis of race, gender, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation or political affiliation and adding a hiring preference for military veterans.

The inauguration presages next year’s 400th anniversary of the first permanent English colony in America at nearby Jamestown in 1607.

“Let us rise to the leadership example of Virginia’s first 400 years,” Kaine said. “Let us affirm and carry forward our values of courage, opportunity and community. Let us remember that civility is not a sign of weakness — that cooperation and compromise are necessary for progress and for the sensible solutions we can all embrace to keep the promise of Virginia strong.”

Two Republicans were sworn in to lower offices: William T. Bolling, a former state senator, as lieutenant governor, and Robert F. McDonnell, a former member of the House of Delegates, as attorney general.

Kaine succeeded Gov. Mark R. Warner, a fellow Democrat who departed after a single term with record high public approval to explore a 2008 presidential race. Virginia is the only state that denies its governors consecutive terms.

With broad bipartisan support, the centrist Warner helped Kaine, the former lieutenant governor, easily defeat Republican Jerry W. Kilgore in a conservative state that last supported a Democrat for president 42 years ago.

Kaine pledged to continue Warner’s efforts to reach out to the Republicans who run the General Assembly.

“Ours will be a nonpartisan, Virginia agenda that includes all. At the heart of what I pledge to you today is the desire to keep Virginia moving forward,” he said.

In addition to honoring the English settlers at Jamestown, Kaine committed his administration to push for federal recognition of Virginia’s native Indian tribes, entitling them to government protections and benefits.

He also pledged support for Virginia’s burgeoning immigrant population. The former Roman Catholic missionary to Honduras also became the first Virginia governor to deliver part of his inaugural speech in Spanish, said Kevin Hall, who was Warner’s press secretary and holds the same post with Kaine.

Kaine opened his day with a prayer breakfast at Bruton Parish Episcopal Church in Colonial Williamsburg, where Jefferson and George Washington worshipped. Moments after he took his oath, a battery of 18th-century cannons fired a 19-gun salute in his honor.

It was an emotional day for Warner, who handed the key to the Executive Mansion to Kaine in a private ceremony in the reconstructed 18th-century Capitol. As Kaine rose to take his oath, Warner leaned back in his chair, took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. He and his wife, Lisa Collis, exited immediately after Kaine finished his oath and, with tears in his eyes, Warner embraced former top staffers before he was driven away in a sedan.

“It was an emotional moment,” Hall said.

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