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Some old flourishes for a new governor

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- For the first time since Thomas Jefferson became governor, Virginia yesterday celebrated the inauguration of a new chief executive with volleys from Revolutionary-era cannon and fife-and-drum flourishes on the grounds of a replica of the colonial Capitol.

Timothy M. Kaine followed in historic footsteps as he took the oath as the state's 70th governor.

Patrick Henry was also sworn in here as the first governor of an independent Virginia in 1776, and Jefferson followed in 1779, the year the government moved to Richmond to elude British capture.

In a short speech to nearly 5,000 guests standing in rain, Kaine evoked that history, exhorting residents to pursue ''the promise of Virginia."

''Let us rise to the leadership example of Virginia's first 400 years," he said. ''Let us affirm and carry forward our values of courage, opportunity and community."

Kaine succeeds Gov. Mark R. Warner, a Democrat who leaves office with a record job-approval rating to explore a 2008 presidential bid.

Warner's popularity helped the former lieutenant governor win the office in a state hasn't backed a Democrat for president in 40 years.

Saturday's inaugural ceremonies were moved to Williamsburg for the first time in 227 years because of extensive renovations at the 200-year-old state Capitol.

The building was designed by Thomas Jefferson, in Richmond.

Williamsburg seemed a fitting location.

During Kaine's tenure, the state will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the first permanent English colony in America, established at nearby Jamestown in 1607.

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