PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Sabina Matos has officially been sworn in as Rhode Island’s 70th lieutenant governor.
Matos, 47, is the first person of color and second woman to hold the job.
“Today, history was made in Rhode Island,” Gov. Dan McKee said. “I am honored to welcome Lt. Governor Matos to our team as we come together to address the challenges facing our state and meet this crucial moment head on.”
“The lieutenant governor has always been a passionate advocate for the Rhode Islanders she represents,” McKee continued. “I know she will bring the same dedication to our administration on behalf of Rhode Islanders in all 39 cities and towns. We’re ready to get to work.”
Exactly two weeks ago, McKee nominated Matos to serve as his second-in-command. Because of this, she’s expected to have a closer relationship with him and a larger role in his administration.
“If you notice how I’m working with the governor, it’s a whole different way,” Matos said. “He’s including me in many conversations, he’s including me in many things that he’s doing. We’re planning on working as a team.”
Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea administered the oath of office using Matos’ family Bible.
“I am honored by the trust and confidence Governor McKee is placing in me to serve as Rhode Island’s lieutenant governor,” Matos added. “I thank my family for their unconditional love and support.”
The ceremony was held after the Rhode Island Senate voted unanimously Tuesday night to confirm Matos’ nomination. She watched the vote with her family in the audience.
“The state of Rhode Island faces many challenges ahead, and together we will tackle the issues that are most important to our residents: getting vaccines in arms, getting people back to work, addressing the affordable housing crisis, and helping our small business community get back on its feet,” Matos said. “I promise to work diligently for the people of our state every single day.”
Matos resigned as council president following her confirmation during a special meeting and resigned her council seat Wednesday morning.
She has hired former Rhode Island auditor general Ernie Almonte as her chief of staff, saying it’s due to his deep financial experience. He had recently been advising the Providence City Council on budget matters during her presidency.
A public inauguration ceremony for Matos will be held in the future. Additional details will be forthcoming.