Ohio governor uses 9 family Bibles during swearing-in ceremony

It’s not unusual for lawmakers to use books of faith or family heirlooms during swearing-in ceremonies. But when new Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine was sworn in earlier this week, he chose not one Bible but nine.

DeWine, the 72-year-old Republican who replaced Gov. John Kasich, took his oath at midnight Monday at his home, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

The ceremony was a family affair. While his wife held the nine, rather thick Bibles, his son, Ohio Supreme Court Justice Pat DeWine gave the oath, DeWine said in a tweet.

According to WOIO-TV, the nine Bibles were chosen because of their importance to his family. They included:

  • The childhood Bible of Becky DeWine, his late daughter
  • The Bible of Jean DeWine, his mother
  • The Bible his wife, Fran, gave to him on their 10th wedding anniversary
  • The Bible of his great-grandmother, Gertrude Budd
  • The New Testament issued to his grandfather Albert Liddle when he served in the U.S. Navy during World War I
  • A New Testament given to his grandmother, Ruth Perkins Liddle, by her father 100 years ago
  • A study Bible given to DeWine by Lloyd Ogilvie, chaplain of the U.S. Senate
  • A New Testament the DeWine couple obtained during a trip to Jerusalem
  • The Bible that belonged to his aunt, Elizabeth Ann DeWine Harwood


The Bibles were supposed to represent each of the couple’s eight children, a spokesman told the Cincinnati Enquirer.

The theme of DeWine’s inauguration was “Faith, Family and Friends.” He’s a Catholic family man who lives on a historic farm in rural Cedarville and is Ohio’s oldest governor. His governorship will cap a political career that began as an assistant prosecutor in rural Ohio in the 1970s and saw election to seats in the Ohio House, U.S. House, the state lieutenant governor’s office and U.S. Senate.


His style is expected to be different from Kasich’s as he’s expressed willingness to embrace more conservative policies. That includes moving in his final days as attorney general to dismiss a lawsuit challenging Ohio’s congressional districts and saying he’s willing to sign a heartbeat abortion ban that would be one of the most stringent restrictions on the procedure in the country.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.