The Weekender (10/7/22)


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

Let’s get started.

Oregon: A new profile from the Oregonian this week highlighted Tina Kotek’s record of getting things done for working Oregonians on the issues that matter most, including increasing affordable housing, tackling crime, protecting reproductive rights, and supporting workers. In contrast, Betsy Johnson and Christine Drazan’s failed records have hurt working families. They’re both beholden to corporate interests and the gun lobby and opposed the common-sense gun safety measures Tina championed to keep Oregonians safe. Instead of working with her fellow legislators, Drazan led a GOP walkout to kill a vote on climate change legislation. Drazan is also proudly pro-life; she and Johnson have both voted against reproductive rights protections. On top of her record of delivering for Oregonians, the report also highlights how Tina “has long sided with labor unions and Oregonians in need” and “would be the first governor in at least a generation who has lived a life most conventionally like other Oregonians in economic terms.” Read the full profile here.
New Mexico: By the end of the first New Mexico debate, the contrast between the two candidates in the governor’s race couldn’t be clearer. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham defended her strong record of improving public education, creating jobs, and funding law enforcement, and promised to continue to protect reproductive freedoms in New Mexico. Meanwhile, Mark Ronchetti took a “theatrically aggressive stance” as he doubled down on his plan to implement an abortion ban and tried to walk back his record on denying climate change.

GOP Candidates Flip-Flop Their Positions on Abortion During Debates
In this week’s Nevada and Maine gubernatorial debates, Joe Lombardo and Paul LePage’s attempts to walk back extreme stances on abortion were front and center.In the Nevada debate, Gov. Steve Sisolak reaffirmed that he would defend abortion, saying, “Let me make this crystal clear … I support unequivocally a woman’s right to choose; her health care decisions are between her and her doctor.” Lombardo was confronted head-on by the moderator for being “all over the place” on abortion. The moderator provided the receipts on the multiple times Lombardo has taken a hardline stance on banning abortion or even contraception. Lombardo was called out for his support of a 13-week abortion ban, for saying “yes absolutely,” when asked if he’d support restrictions on Plan B and waiting periods before ending a pregnancy, and for saying “I plan to lead as a pro-life governor.”

In Maine, LePage stumbled similarly, as Gov. Janet Mills assured that her veto power would stand in the way of abortion restrictions in Maine. LePage called the situation a “hypothetical,” and when asked if he would block abortion restrictions, he said, “Would I block? This is what I would do,” while chopping both hands in the air in front of him.

Rachel Maddow Highlights Democratic Governors’ Broad Coalition of Support Across Party Lines
Rachel Maddow spotlighted the trend of Democratic governors and candidates in states like Kansas, Michigan, and Pennsylvania building strong coalitions of supporters from across the political spectrum — including endorsements from top in-state Republican leaders.Watch the full clip he​​re.Maddow noted how in Kansas, Gov. Laura Kelly has “racked up more than 100 endorsements from prominent Kansas Republicans across the state.” That includes former GOP Gov. Bill Graves and former U.S. Sen. Nancy Kassebaum, who chose to endorse Gov. Kelly over Derek Schmidt even though Schmidt worked for both of them for years. In Michigan, “over 150 prominent Republicans from across the state…have crossed over to endorse…Gretchen Whitmer.” And in Pennsylvania, as Maddow noted, “headline after headline” shows Josh Shapiro gaining endorsements from prominent Republicans.Democratic governors are generating impressive bipartisan support while their GOP opponents double down on extremism and out-of-touch positions. Maddow highlighted a brand new ad from Tony Evers’ campaign, slamming Tim Michels for his extreme position on abortion that would force 12-year-olds to give birth, even if they are victims of rape or incest.

Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams on MSNBC with Nicolle Wallace discussing the hypocrisy of Gov. Brian Kemp.

“I called the Legislature into special session today to protect reproductive freedom by creating a pathway for Wisconsinites to repeal our state’s criminal abortion ban, which has no exceptions for rape and incest. Republicans rejected our plan in seconds. That’s an outrage.”

  • Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Republicans in the legislature refusing to vote in or even open his special session to create a pathway for voters to repeal the state’s outdated and extreme ban on abortion without exceptions.

“Why do we have litter boxes in some of the school districts so kids can pee in them, because they identify as a furry? We’ve lost our minds. We’ve lost our minds.”Who said it? Send your answer to, and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!If you guessed Arizona GOP gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake last week, you were right! Last week, Lake stayed silent after the Daily Beast reported that one of her staffers is a convicted felon who plotted to kill an FBI informant.