The Weekender (11/12/21)


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

Let’s get started.

Florida: As Ron DeSantis officially filed paperwork to run for reelection, the DGA is calling out DeSantis as a vulnerable hypocrite who has repeatedly put himself first — no matter the cost to Floridians’ health and financial security. As COVID surged, DeSantis led a crusade against the health and safety of children and families, fueling a “crisis of unprecedented proportions” that has been criticized by more than 800 in-state doctors, parents, major industries in Florida, and front-line workers. He also refused to expand Medicaid and attacked local counties and schools with fines for implementing their own common sense mask and vaccine measures. DeSantis even slammed President Biden’s historic bipartisan infrastructure package, calling it “pork-barrel spending” and “bad juju” — ignoring the deep infrastructure needs of his state and how it will directly benefit Florida.

Illinois: The Illinois GOP primary for governor just got a whole lot messier. Billionaire Ken Griffin promised in a recent interview to go “all in” to fund a GOP primary candidate in the race — but he didn’t specify which (if any) of the current candidates in the field he’d like to bankroll. The announcement from Griffin is sure to send the field of far-right, backward GOP candidates into a frenzy as they compete with each other for the billionaire’s bucks. This isn’t the first time Griffin has financed a Republican running for governor. Griffin financed former Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner with a record $20 million donation as Rauner destroyed the state budget, cut spending for public programs, and drove Illinois’ economy into a ditch. Meanwhile, as the state emerges from the pandemic, Gov. Pritzker is putting Illinois back on firm fiscal footing, leading to credit rating upgrades and an improving business environment.

Republicans Running for Governor Won’t Say Where They Stand on Key IssuesNew reporting from Axios is amplifying how Republican candidates for governor are hiding their extreme views from voters and refusing to say where they stand on key issues, like whether they believe the 2020 election was legitimate. While the Big Lie conspiracy that the 2020 election was stolen has been thoroughly debunked and poses an undeniable threat to democracy, GOP candidates are staying silent to avoid scaring off far-right Republicans loyal to Donald Trump.

In Colorado, Heidi Ganahl refused to say whether President Biden was legitimately elected, calling the issue “divisive.” She also stopped short of characterizing the January 6th insurrection as such, saying only that it was a “bad day for the country.” In Nevada, Dean Heller also wouldn’t acknowledge Biden’s win or even say the president’s name out loud in an interview. The rest of the Nevada primary have followed a similar pattern of hiding from voters on questions; Sheriff Joe Lombardo has dodged questions on the fairness of the 2020 election. In Michigan, Detroit Dodger James Craig has also repeatedly avoided answering questions about the election. And in Pennsylvania, Bill McSwain has repeatedly dodged questions about the validity of the election.

With Hatchet in Hand, Gov. Laura Kelly Launches Plan to Axe the Food TaxThis week, Gov. Laura Kelly announced her plan to “Axe the Food Tax,” which will put extra savings in Kansans’ pockets, with a family of four estimated to save $500 per year. Kansans currently pay more for groceries than people in most other states, and Gov. Kelly is delivering on her campaign promise to address the issue by completely eliminating the state food sales tax. “2022 is the year of the family tax cut,” said Gov. Kelly. “That means more money in every Kansans’ wallet, more money on our Main Streets, and more money in our economy.”

Gov. Kelly’s plan to cut the tax will help both families and Kansas’ main street businesses — without diverting resources away from other essential services. Axing the food tax means Kansans will spend their money in-state instead of going across the border to buy groceries. Gov. Kelly has the Kansas economy growing and the budget in order after the disastrous days of Sam Brownback and Derek Schmidt slashing public education and blowing up the state’s budget.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on MSNBC with Chuck Todd on his historic re-election and how he plans to continue delivering for New Jerseyans.

“When we grow and raise our own healthy food, in our own fields and waters, and sell it through our own shops to our own neighbors and friends — that’s a recipe for a healthy people and a healthy economy.”

  • Maine Gov. Janet Mills investing $20 million in federal funds to help Maine farmers and food processors upgrade aging infrastructure to increase the supply of locally-grown food, meet growing demand, and create and sustain jobs to strengthen Maine’s economy.

In response to a question about infrastructure: “I didn’t say that was one of my priorities.”Who said it? Send your answer to, and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!

If you guessed Arizona GOP gubernatorial primary candidate Kari Lake last time, good job! Asked whether she would’ve certified the results of the 2020 election, Lake leaned into Trump’s baseless Big Lie and attacked governor and RGA Chair Doug Ducey.