The Weekender (10/22/21)


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

Let’s get started.

Virginia: Yesterday, Glenn Youngkin’s top ally and campaign surrogate Amanda Chase made horrifying comments about a death threat made against Terry McAuliffe. Chase’s comments are the most recent example of the right-wing extremism that Youngkin has fully embraced throughout his campaign. Chase is notorious for her baseless claims that Democrats are trying to steal the election — she even attended Donald Trump’s January 6 insurrection with Steve Bannon. Chase says she has “cleared her schedule” to campaign for Youngkin ahead of the November election and also stated that she is working with the Youngkin campaign to further advance Trump’s election conspiracies in Virginia. Youngkin’s complete and total embrace of Trump and Chase is dangerous, divisive, and disqualifying for anyone seeking to be governor.

New Jersey: This week, the Murphy for Governor campaign launched its fourth general election television ad — “If You” — highlighting Gov. Phil Murphy’s vision for New Jersey. The video features Gov. Murphy’s first-term accomplishments, including making health care and education more affordable, defending the right to choose, standing up for the middle class, and many other progressive victories. Watch “If You” here. Meanwhile, Jack Ciattarelli is spending the campaign’s final stretch on Newsmax, one of Trump’s favorite far-right channels. The appearance is unsurprising from someone who attended a Stop the Steal rally with Confederate flags and white supremacists. Ciattarelli has made it clear that he values appealing to the extreme Republican base more than keeping New Jerseyans safe and fighting for the progress they deserve.

Crowded Nevada GOP Primary Goes Even Further to the Right as Dean Heller and Joe Lombardo Fail to Impress the Republican Base

Just when it seemed like the Nevada GOP gubernatorial primary couldn’t get more crowded and extreme, Las Vegas City Councilwoman Michele Fiore has decided to jump in the race. Fiore’s candidacy is sure to stir up chaos and drag all other candidates further to the right.

The new addition to the field comes as assumed frontrunners Dean Heller and Joe Lombardo continue to disappoint the GOP base and fail to consolidate support. In her launch video, Fiore hit the rest of the GOP field as “the same old boring, moderate, compromise, blue blazer politicians.” Even Republican Congressman Mark Amodei isn’t impressed, slamming the current field, saying, “nobody has taken all of the air out of the room” and that he’s “not taken with the field so far.” With pointed criticism like that, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Amodei himself jumped in, pushing this cozy six-candidate-primary up to seven.

Meanwhile, all six Republican primary candidates are desperate to appease Trump and his far-right base — Heller and Lombardo spout Trump’s ‘Big Lie,’ Mayor John Lee has promised to “follow the Trump agenda,” and new candidate Fiore has said Trump is “absolutely” a positive force in the party. Fiore is also the subject of an FBI investigation, which has added fuel to “the Nevada GOP’s self-started brushfire.” Fiore is just one more person to overcrowd the field and drag the race to the right.

President Biden’s Visit to CT Highlights Gov. Lamont’s Success in Making the State “a Model” for Child Care Programs
As President Biden visited a child development center in Connecticut last Friday, Gov. Ned Lamont was in the spotlight for his record of expanding access to child care for families — which is both supporting kids and helping parents get back to work.

The Hartford Courant reported: “For Connecticut, the Biden visits highlight the impact of about $300 million in federal money for child care programs since the pandemic began. Connecticut’s relatively quick distribution of this funding has been a model for other states.” According to the Commissioner of the Office of Early Childhood Education, Gov. Lamont’s actions “really did save child care.”

In addition to funding child care, Gov. Lamont has taken vital steps to guide Connecticut’s pandemic recovery and support families and small businesses. Connecticut has one of the highest vaccination rates among eligible residents in the entire country, thanks to Gov. Lamont’s vaccine rollout strategy, which has kept hospitalizations low and businesses open.

Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro on NBC Philadelphia with Lauren Mayk talking about his candidacy, COVID, and voting rights.

Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe on MSNBC with Joe Scarborough discussing Glenn Youngkin’s question-dodging and the recent far-right rally held in support of him.

Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe on CNN with Kate Bolduan emphasizing what’s at stake in this election.

“During the unprecedented challenges of the last two years, I’ve seen Minnesotans from all walks of life come together in order to fight the virus, save lives and get our state on the path to recovery. We’re not done yet, but Peggy and I are excited to continue that fight with you.”

  • Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announcing his run for re-election alongside Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan.

“Washington Post called me a gun-toting calendar girl, and Politico Magazine said that I was the lady Trump, and I don’t care.”

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

If you guessed Texas GOP primary candidate Allen West last week, nice job! West, who is currently recovering from COVID-19, counterintuitively said his hospitalization with the virus has made him “more dedicated to fighting against vaccine mandates.”