BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick is preparing to launch his second term Thursday with a scaled back inaugural including an indoor swearing-in ceremony at the Statehouse and $50-per-person party at the Boston Public Library.
Patrick planned to start the day at a prayer breakfast and spend part of the afternoon greeting members of the public.
Democrat Mary Ann Marsh and Republican Gene Hartigan spoke with WBZ’s Rod Fritz about the inauguration
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The festivities will be a marked contrast from Patrick’s glitzy inaugural four year ago that included a swearing-in ceremony outside the Statehouse followed by a series of inaugural balls across the state.
Patrick’s campaign aides initially estimated a $400,000 price tag for this year’s activities — compared to the $2 million raised four years ago — in part to reflect the tough economic times.
On Wednesday, the campaign reported it had raised more than $700,000 from leading Massachusetts companies, including large insurers, Fidelity Investments, the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots.
Patrick, who won a hard-fought re-election campaign last year, said he’s energized by the prospect of his next four years as the state’s top political leader.
‘SEEING MORE OF ME’
“I’m excited about the second term,” Patrick told The Associated Press in an interview this week. “You are going to be seeing more of me.”
In that interview, Patrick set a wide-ranging agenda, saying he wants to rein in health care costs and curb youth violence while focusing on one of the state’s most vexing education problems: a stubborn achievement gap across racial and ethnic lines.
Patrick said he’s also planning more trade missions and will work with other Beacon Hill leaders to help jolt the economy.
“We’ve got an ambitious agenda which will focus on expanding and, I hope, accelerating the pace of job creation,” he said.
The Democratic governor said he will spend some time this year promoting a book he has written about his journey from the hardscrabble streets of Chicago to the Massachusetts Statehouse.
The memoir is expected to be released in April.
The first item on Patrick’s inaugural schedule Thursday was a 9:30 a.m. interfaith prayer ceremony at the Old South Church in Boston. His swearing-in ceremony was set for 11 a.m. in the Massachusetts House chambers.
Administering the oath will be Senate President Therese Murray, the first time in Massachusetts history that a woman has presided over the swearing-in of a governor.
At 1:30 p.m., Patrick planned to begin greeting well-wishers at Nurses Hall in the Statehouse, followed by a 7 p.m. inaugural party at the Boston Public Library.
The events will be followed two days later by a youth town hall, community service event and celebration hosted by the governor and first lady Diane Patrick.
Patrick’s swearing-in comes a day after state lawmakers took their oath of office and turned their attention to the coming two-year legislative term.
Murray and House Speaker Robert DeLeo, both Democrats, vowed not to raise taxes this year while working to find common ground on a bill to legalize casino gambling and trying to strengthen the state’s economy.
The top donor to Patrick’s inaugural was Arbella Mutual Insurance Co., one of the largest insurers in New England. The company donated $50,000.
Donations or pledges of $25,000 apiece were also received from telecommunications company Comcast; data storage manufacturer EMC Corp.; Fidelity Investments; and Liberty Mutual Insurance.
The Boston Red Sox gave $15,000, as did the Wine & Spirit Wholesalers of Massachusetts. The Patriots donated $10,000.
In 2007, Patrick donated excess contributions from his inaugural to charitable organizations.
Political contributions in Massachusetts are limited to $500 annually from an individual, but lawmakers are allowed to collect unlimited donations from individuals or corporations for inaugural, legal defense and recount funds.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)