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The Latest: McMaster promises economic prosperity for SC

January 9, 2019
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The statue of Wade Hampton and the Statehouse flagpole flies the Clemson University flag to celebrate the football teams national championship at the capitol in Columbia, South Carolina, on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019. South Carolina honors its college sports champions by flying the teams flag after a national championship win. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)
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The statue of Wade Hampton and the Statehouse flagpole flies the Clemson University flag to celebrate the football teams national championship at the capitol in Columbia, South Carolina, on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019. South Carolina honors its college sports champions by flying the teams flag after a national championship win. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on Gov. Henry McMaster’s inauguration (all times local):

12:25 p.m.

Gov. Henry McMaster promised to keep recruiting businesses to South Carolina and lower taxes in his inaugural speech.

McMaster used several sports metaphors during Wednesday speech after he took the oath of office at the Statehouse for a full-four year term.

McMaster gave a sweeping speech saying how economic competition is the one of the constants in human history. He promised to keep cutting regulations and protecting the environment to keep South Carolina attractive to businesses.

McMaster also says he will push to improve education and pledged to make the “Corridor of Shame” name used for a belt of poor, rural school with mostly minority students a fading memory.

Also on Wednesday, Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette was sworn into office. She is the first lieutenant governor to run on a ticket with the governor.

Evette then swore in the rest of the statewide officers

10:30 a.m.

A traditional prayer has ended as South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster as he prepared to be sworn in for his first full term in office.

The service was held in Columbia on Wednesday at McMaster’s church, First Presbyterian, about two blocks from the Statehouse. The service has traditionally been held at Trinity Episcopal Church, across the street from the Statehouse. McMaster is the first Columbia native elected governor in more than a century.

The service was packed and opened with the hymn “How Great Thou Art” and closed with “Amazing Grace.”

Inauguration ceremonies begin at 11 a.m. on the south steps of the Statehouse. McMaster was lieutenant governor when he took over in January of 2017 after then-Gov. Nikki Haley was chosen as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

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6:15 a.m.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is taking the oath of office for his first full term.

McMaster defeated Democratic state Rep. James Smith in the Nov. 6 election. The former lieutenant governor had taken over the top office in early 2017, when Nikki Haley joined the Trump administration.

McMaster is being sworn in during a ceremony Wednesday on the Statehouse steps in Columbia. That follows a prayer service at First Presbyterian Church, where McMaster regularly attends.

The move to McMaster’s home church, rather than Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, reflects his status as South Carolina’s first Columbia-native governor in more than 100 years.

After a Governor’s Mansion open house, McMaster will celebrate at an inaugural ball at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.

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Meg Kinnard can be reached on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP .

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