Matt Bevin has taken the oath to become the 62nd governor of Kentucky during a private ceremony just after midnight in the state Capitol.
Bevin succeeds Democrat Steve Beshear, who could not seek re-election because of term limits. Bevin is only the state's ninth Republican governor in its 223-year history and the second since 1971.
In brief comments after taking the oath of office, Bevin said, "It is a tremendous honor to be chosen to be the tip of the spear for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, it really is. If Republican and Democrat alike, if we rise to the occasion that has been presented to us for a fresh start, for a new day then the greatest days of the Commonwealth of Kentucky are yet to come."
A full day of events is scheduled for Tuesday, including a worship service, a parade and a public swearing-in ceremony on the Capitol steps.
An investment manager from Louisville, Bevin has never held public office. He started his political career by losing badly to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell in the 2014 Senate primary.
But Bevin came back to win the Republican primary for governor by just 83 votes. He defeated Democrat Jack Conway in November.