The Weekender (1/7/22)


Welcome to the Democratic Governors Association’s Friday newsletter, the Weekender.

Let’s get started.

Maine: Paul LePage’s lies have earned him a challenger in the GOP primary for Maine governor. Michael Stuart Heath has jumped in the race “because it’s time to turn the page on Paul.” LePage knows his lies won’t be enough to beat Gov. Mills’ strong record in office. Maybe that’s why he’s encouraging a bid from independent Tom Saviello to try and set the three-way race that created his only known path to victory. “It isn’t clear whether the often-combative LePage can muster enough support to win a race that doesn’t include a major independent challenger,” the Press Herald reported. Gov. Mills, on the other hand, is running on a strong record of delivering on her promises and ensuring a better future for Maine. She took a major step towards achieving universal broadband today by swearing in Andrew Butcher as the first President of the Maine Connectivity Authority.Pennsylvania: This week, on the eve of the January 6th insurrection anniversary, the 13 Republican candidates for Pennsylvania governor crammed onto a crowded stage in multiple rows for the first debate in a brutal race to the far-right. “Let’s just call it the Trump primary,” warned former GOP Congressman Ryan Costello. With a nasty, crowded race impending, the GOP candidates are desperate to win the support of Donald Trump’s far-right base with lies and conspiracy theories. The PA GOP sprint to the far-right will go even further off the rails as Doug Mastriano — who was leading the extreme pack in a recent poll — is set to declare his candidacy this weekend. Mastriano participated firsthand on January 6th by busing insurrectionists to the Capitol, and — like other candidates in the race — he supports a sham audit of Pennsylvania’s election results.

DeSantis Administration Lets 800,000 to 1 Million COVID Tests Expire As Pandemic Surges
Amidst a deadly surge of omicron cases, Gov. Ron DeSantis has once again been caught dragging his feet and risking the lives of Floridians. After initially denying letting tests expire, the DeSantis administration admitted in a press conference this week that between 800,000 to 1 million COVID tests expired under their watch last month.DeSantis admitted, “I know that tests are scarce,” and despite receiving a three-month extension on the test kits, the state still failed to distribute them to Floridians in need. DeSantis has even discouraged young people from getting tested for COVID. “He did not mention concerns younger people might have about carrying the virus and spreading it to people such as their parents or grandparents,” reported the Palm Beach Post.

Since allowing the pandemic to surge to a “crisis of unprecedented proportions” last summer, DeSantis continues to push anti-science policies that prolong the pandemic and punish Floridians, including forcing local counties and businesses to pay fines if they want their own vaccine requirements. The expiration of up to 1 million testing kits is just the latest failure as DeSantis is continually slammed for his lack of transparency on COVID.

Democratic Governors Are Critical to Ensuring Democracy Prevails
One year since the greatest threat to America’s democracy in recent history, Democratic governors are being heralded for their role as a bulwark to anti-democratic forces seeking to overturn election results — a role that will be crucial to keeping future elections fair and free.Recent reporting from PBS highlights how in key battleground states, “Democratic governors have been a major impediment to the GOP’s effort to overhaul elections” and have “vetoed new rules…aimed at making it harder for people of color to vote.” As the GOP continues their plot to systematically restrict access to the ballot box and undermine democracy, Democratic governors’ work in standing up to the Big Lie and protecting the right to vote is critical to ensuring the strength of our democracy.

Dan Pfeiffer describes how “stopping the next insurrection begins down-ballot” with Democratic governors, who have acted as a critical safeguard to the integrity of the electoral system. With Republican candidates and sitting governors across the country continuing to push the Big Lie, Pfeiffer notes, “electing Democratic Governors in battleground states is one way to stop them.” Jay Kuo highlights how “it was ultimately Democratic governors in states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin who held their radical state legislators in check.” In addition to shutting down Republicans’ conspiracy theories about non-existent voting fraud, Democratic governors have also protected the right to vote from Republican attempts to systematically limit who is able to cast a ballot.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on MSNBC with Stephanie Ruhle discussing COVID, the fire in Boulder, and his decision to reduce a prisoner’s sentence.Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak on CNN with Jake Tapper praising the leadership of the late Sen. Harry Reid and outlining his COVID response.

“The lies and extremism that led to the January 6th insurrection and its dangerous aftermath have no place in the United States of America, and governors must help lead the way in standing up for the truth, protecting our democracy and making sure that it’s the vote of the people that decides elections.”

  • North Carolina Gov. and DGA Chair Roy Cooper on the anniversary of the January 6th insurrection.

“I happen to believe the global warming stories are not true.”Who said it? Send your answer to, and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!

If you guessed Minnesota GOP primary candidate Paul Gazelka last time, nice job! In their first debate, all five Minnesota Republican candidates refused to say the 2020 election was legitimate.