The Weekender (11/5/21)


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

Let’s get started.

New Jersey: The following is a statement by DGA Chair New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Gov. Phil Murphy’s victory: “Congratulations to Gov. Phil Murphy on his re-election as Governor of New Jersey. This win is historic — Gov. Murphy is the first Democratic governor to be reelected in New Jersey in over 40 years. Gov. Murphy has a proven track record that resonates with New Jersey voters, who turned out to choose moving forward, not back. Gov. Murphy provided trusted leadership throughout the pandemic, navigating health and economic crises to emerge with a stronger and fairer New Jersey. Gov. Murphy delivered on the issues that matter most to New Jerseyans — enshrining affordable health care protections into law, boosting the minimum wage to $15/hr, protecting the right to choose, and enacting sweeping climate reforms. The DGA was proud to support Gov. Murphy and his campaign, and we look forward to four more years of moving New Jersey forward.”

Virginia: DGA Executive Director Noam Lee released the following statement on the results of the Virginia governor’s race: “Terry McAuliffe ran a strong, positive campaign focused on the issues that matter most. The central goal of his campaign — to build a better Virginia that works for everyone — resonated with voters, and despite the outcome of the race, we saw that reflected in last night’s close results. Unfortunately, Virginia’s long-standing trend of electing a governor from the opposite party of the president continues. Sidestepping the issues that mattered to voters, the GOP lied and schemed to hide their candidate’s extreme positions, and their far-right agenda won out. The DGA remains committed to advancing strong Democratic leadership exemplified by Terry McAuliffe — in Virginia and across the country. While this loss is a setback in Virginia, it will only energize the DGA to continue to fight and win future races.”

Facing a Crowded and Extremist Field, Mark Amodei Dodges Nevada GOP Primary “Where Everybody Just Tries to Bash Their Way to Victory”After months of criticizing the weak and crowded Nevada GOP primary field, Mark Amodei announced he won’t run for governor. In his decision, Amodei cited that the race will be highly hostile and bruise the eventual nominee in the general election. “You better have a plan that’s going to make you different than just ‘vote for me because I don’t like the other guy,’” said Amodei, adding that the current Republican candidates will try to “bash their way to victory.”Amodei is desperate to avoid association with the far-right field, which he’s said he’s “not taken with” and would pull him so far to the right he would be unelectable. Dean Heller and Joe Lombardo have failed to consolidate support. Their unpopularity has led several challengers to jump in, making for a crowded and expensive race. Each candidate is running on Donald Trump’s ‘Big Lie’ that the 2020 election was stolen, an issue deeply unpopular with Nevadans.

On top of his harsh criticisms of the Republican field, Amodei is avoiding running against a strong incumbent in Gov. Steve Sisolak. He’s even admitted that Gov. Sisolak should be “the happiest guy in the state right now” because the GOP field is so horrible, and the race will be inescapably bruising.

Gov. Janet Mills Launches Maine Jobs and Recovery Small Business Grant Program
This week, Gov. Janet Mills launched the Maine Jobs and Recovery Small Business Grant Program to help Maine’s small businesses. The new $20 million program will provide grants to small businesses that need immediate short-term help with expenses stemming from the impacts of COVID-19.“Small businesses are the backbone of Maine’s economy, and my Administration will continue to do all we can to support their recovery,” said Gov. Mills. “These grants through the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan will help pull back those businesses who are still on the brink and put them on stronger financial footing as we tackle the pandemic.”Gov. Mills is committed to providing financial relief for small businesses. The grant program is part of a larger $139 million package to help Maine small businesses and develop Maine’s workforce, including $39 million to help lower monthly health insurance premiums and $80 million to replenish the Maine Unemployment Trust fund and mitigate tax hikes for small businesses. Gov. Mills has taken action throughout the pandemic to support Mainers and their businesses. Since the start of the pandemic, the Mills administration has provided $273 million in support to 5,224 businesses and non-profits.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on MSNBC with Jonathan Capehart describing how he’s worked to build a stronger and fairer New Jersey.New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on CNN with John Berman on his quest to make history as the first Democratic governor re-elected in the state in 44 years.Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on CNN with Chris Cuomo talking about his investments in clean energy and green jobs.

“If you want to be governor of all of New Jersey, you must listen to all of New Jersey. And New Jersey, I hear you. So tonight, I renew my promise to you — whether you voted for me or not — to work every single day of the next four years to keep moving us forward.”

  • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy during his victory speech after winning re-election, the first time a New Jersey Democratic governor has done so in 44 years.

On whether she would have certified the 2020 election results: “Hell no … Doug Ducey should have never certified it.”

Who said it? Send your answer to, and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!If you guessed Wisconsin GOP gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Kleefisch last week, nice work! Kleefisch said she needs to “hire mercenaries” and told supporters behind closed doors that despite her frequent calls to restrict the right to vote, she’ll need to use the same pro-democracy measures she’s vowing to repeal and limit if she wants a shot at winning the governor’s race.