The Weekender (12/11/20)


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

Let’s get started.

Virginia: The Virginia Republican Party voted to choose their gubernatorial nominee by way of convention, rather than holding a statewide primary. Conservative firebrand and grassroots favorite Amanda Chase promised she would run as an independent if the GOP went this route, and she made good on her promise, saying on Facebook, “It’s official. While I am a Republican; I will be seeking the nomination in a primary as an Independent.”

This ensures a messy, nasty, and chaotic campaign all the way until November. The Washington Post reported that 5 additional GOP candidates are considering jumping into the race given the weak field.

Ron DeSantis’ Administration Turns to Physical Intimidation to Hide COVID-19 Data

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration came under fire this week for sending in a team of agents to raid the home of a former state data scientist. DeSantis is so committed to undermining facts and public health that he’s resorting to using physical violence to intimidate scientists.

Rebekah Jones, a top scientist who was fired for refusing to manipulate Florida’s COVID-19 data to support DeSantis’ reopening plan, filmed agents raiding her home on Monday with weapons drawn. Jones said the agents pointed guns at her and her children before taking away her phone and computer.

On Tuesday, a Republican member of a Florida judicial nominating commission resigned his position over the governor’s treatment of Jones, adding that DeSantis’ handling of the pandemic is “reckless and irresponsible.”

DeSantis has a scary history of denying facts and science during the pandemic. Earlier this year, the governor hired known conspiracy theorist and sports blogger, Kyle Lamb, to perform COVID-19 research for Florida.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear Marks Accomplishment-Filled First Year in Office

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear today marked the completion of his first year in office, one defined by policy successes and life-saving decisions in the face of unprecedented challenges.

Just three months after the governor took office, the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was announced in the state. Since that first case, Gov. Beshear has taken decisive, life-saving steps to mitigate the spread of the virus, protect the state’s economy, and keep the public informed at every step of the way. The governor also has furthered his administration’s policy priorities, improving the state’s public education system, creating good-paying jobs, and protecting access to health care. 

Read more about Gov. Andy Beshear’s successful first year here.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on CNN’s New Day, pleading with New Jerseyans to keep their guard up and stop holding indoor gatherings. Gov. Murphy also gives a shout out to his great neighbors, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, Delaware Gov. John Carney, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront, discussing the threats made against Michigan state officials as a result of President Trump’s dangerous rhetoric.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont on MSNBC Live, talking when he expects the vaccine to arrive and explaining how he plans to distribute it.

“I know this year has been tiring and frustrating and painful. With the holidays here, many of us feel it more deeply. But the stakes are dire. This is truly a matter of life and death.”

  • North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announcing new safety measures to slow the spread and pleading with Americans to social distance and wear masks heading into the winter.

“Many in the media have criticized this approach, labeling me ill-informed, reckless and even a ‘denier.’”

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

If you guessed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis last week, you were right! Florida has surpassed one million confirmed COVID-19 cases, but DeSantis has refused to implement any mitigation measures, including a mask mandate.