The Weekender (10/15/21)


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

Let’s get started.

Virginia: This week, Terry McAuliffe announced that former President Barack Obama will campaign with him at an event in Richmond just ten days before Election Day. The event will follow visits by two other big names — First Lady Jill Biden and Stacey Abrams will both campaign for McAuliffe this weekend. Meanwhile, Glenn Youngkin continues to play “footsie” with Donald Trump and the ‘Big Lie.’ After campaigning on election integrity and pledging to support Trump for president if he’s the nominee in 2024, Youngkin recently called for an audit of Virginia’s voting machines, which Trump uplifted to his extremist followers. As McAuliffe draws high-profile Democratic surrogates, the DGA again asks, “When’s the Trump-Youngkin rally in Virginia?”

New Jersey: In this week’s debate, Gov. Phil Murphy laid out his concrete record of fighting for New Jerseyans and demonstrated why he’s the only choice for governor. The only thing Jack Ciattarelli managed to prove is that his agenda is too extreme for the state. His debate night strategy of repeating right-wing soundbites recycled from Donald Trump and Chris Christie did not resonate with New Jerseyans, who have soundly rejected Ciattarelli’s same brand of far-right extremism over and over again. Ciattarelli ​​praised Trump’s record and completely dodged direct questions on whether he’d vote for Trump in 2024 and whether he’d welcome Trump to campaign for him. Meanwhile, Gov. Murphy is committed to moving the state forward towards a stronger and fairer New Jersey — and he’s got the track record to show for it.

New Records: Law Enforcement Criticize James Craig For Refusing to Get Law Enforcement Certification
James Craig is in hot water after Michigan Radio acquired records showing he refused to get his certification as a law enforcement officer while serving as police chief in Detroit — even though he told Michiganders he would complete the process when he started the role in 2013. Michigan Radio adds that “Craig faced similar controversy over state certification when he served as police chief of the Cincinnati,” where Craig filed for a waiver to get out of the process but was denied. Craig then took his refusal to get certified to court, where his claims were also rejected, leading him to leave for Detroit soon after.

As a result, Craig is taking heat from other law enforcement officials in Michigan, along with his opponents in the nasty GOP primary. Former Michigan State Police captain Michael Brown and GOP candidate for governor said, “If you’re going to masquerade as a police officer in uniform, you’d better be certified.”

Retired Detroit police officer Steven Allen added that Craig’s failure to get certified is “gross negligence.”

DGA Announces Record-Breaking Off-Year Third Quarter Fundraising
With a surge of grassroots donations and first-time donors, the DGA announced a record-breaking fundraising haul for Q3. The DGA raised over $29 million in the third quarter of this year alone — a 322% increase from the equivalent period in 2017, the last off-year following a presidential election.

The record-breaking $29 million raised represents the cumulative total across all entities, including grassroots and digital fundraising. The massive haul was driven in large part by grassroots and first-time donors. Among grassroots donations in Q3, nearly 47,000, or 41%, were first-time donors to the DGA. The DGA also saw an increase in the average contribution by existing donors.

To date, the DGA has raised over $54 million across all entities in 2021, including 691,668 grassroots donations from 216,250 unique donors. The DGA’s offline program, which includes direct mail and telemarketing, has raised $2.24 million this year. The DGA also raised $500,000 in 2021 through the Swing State Fund, the Green Governors Initiative, and the Women Governors Fund, the first and only fundraising initiative dedicated solely to electing Democratic women governors, as recently highlighted by the 19th and Politico.

Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe on CNN with Dana Bash covering the importance of turnout, what’s at stake in this election, and his plans to lead Virginia forward.

Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe on MSNBC with Andrea Mitchell discussing how Glenn Youngkin is unfit to lead the Commonwealth.

“Today is a day of remembrance, reflection, and celebration of the Indigenous peoples, including those who call Michigan home. The success of tribal communities is inextricably linked to Michigan’s success, and we must ensure that they have an empowered voice and seat at the table.”

  • Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer proclaiming October 11th as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Despite contracting COVID, this person said, “After this experience, I am even more dedicated to fighting against vaccine mandates.”

Who said it? Send your answer to, and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!

If you guessed Glenn Youngkin’s running mate Winsome Sears last week, you were correct! Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor hopeful refused to say whether she’s received the COVID vaccine, touting the “freedom-loving” nature of our country. Sears later attacked CNN in a tweet by calling them “liberal hack reporters.”