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Governor Larry Hogan waves to the crowd and holds his granddaughter Daniella Valez, 2, with first lady Yumi Hogan, at the close of his inauguration in Annapolis.
Governor Larry Hogan waves to the crowd and holds his granddaughter Daniella Valez, 2, with first lady Yumi Hogan, at the close of his inauguration in Annapolis. (By Joshua McKerrow, Baltimore Sun)

Almost all eyes outside the State House on Wednesday were on Gov. Larry Hogan as he became Maryland's new chief executive.

But another family member was competing with Hogan for attention. His 2-year-old granddaughter, Daniella Velez, fidgeted at times in the snowy cold as the singing, prayers and speaking droned on. She was passed from one family member to another, and when it was all over, she wound up in the arms of the new governor as he waved to well-wishers below.

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In all, four generations of Hogan's family were on hand to celebrate his inauguration, just as they had been there to help with his election.

Daniella was the first to get a kiss after Hogan took the oath of office in the crowded Senate chamber. Later outside, Hogan began his remarks to the crowd by acknowledging his wife, Yumi, their three daughters and the rest of his family, saying, "Please know that it is because of your incredible love and support that I am able to stand here today."

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A short while later, in pledging to put aside party politics to work with all Marylanders, the new governor recalled how his father, former Rep. Lawrence Hogan Sr., had bucked the Republican Party to call for President Richard Nixon's impeachment in 1974.

With his father sitting nearby on the platform, Hogan said, "Dad put aside personal party politics and his own personal considerations to do the right thing for the nation."

Then, his voice breaking, the governor said, "I'm going to get emotional now. And he taught me more about integrity in one day than most men learn in a lifetime, and I am so proud to be his son."

With that, Hogan stepped away from the podium, took a few steps back and briefly embraced his father, who was defeated in the Republican primary for governor the same year as his Nixon vote.

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At least some members of Hogan's family had joined him on the campaign trail, and in political ads.

His Korean-born wife, an artist and adjunct faculty member at the Maryland Institute College of Art, shied from the rough-and-tumble of politics but still helped him attract support from Asian-American donors. They've been married since 2004 — it is Hogan's first marriage, her second. The three daughters from her first marriage Hogan calls his own.

When Hogan's rival for the governor's office, Democrat Anthony G. Brown, began airing television ads accusing the Republican of planning to restrict abortion, it was daughter Jaymi Sterling who filmed an ad rebutting the charges her father was "anti-woman."

Sterling and her husband, Ben, were on hand for the celebration. So were the other daughters, Julie Kim and Kim Velez, Daniella's mother. Her husband and Hogan's son-in-law, Louis Velez, also had a part in the inaugural ceremony. A sergeant in the Army Reserve and an Afghanistan and Iraq war veteran, he led the crowd in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Baltimore Sun reporters Erin Cox and Michael Dresser contributed to this article.

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