The Weekender (12/16/22)


Welcome to the Democratic Governors Association’s Friday newsletter, the Weekender. Please note that we’ll be putting the Weekender on pause over the holidays, but your favorite newsletter will be back on January 6th.

Let’s get started.

Kansas: Gov. Laura Kelly earned praise in the Kansas City Star this week for running a successful race as the only Democrat seeking reelection in a state Donald Trump carried in 2020 — and for setting “a key example of how a Democrat can win in a conservative state.” The article lauds Gov. Kelly for zeroing in on the biggest issues impacting people’s lives, consistently pitching herself as a policymaker focused on Kansas, not national politics.
Kentucky: Speaking of Kentucky, Gov. Beshear is gearing up for reelection with a record of guiding the commonwealth through crises and delivering bipartisan wins on kitchen-table issues. Just this week, he announced major improvements to Kentucky’s juvenile jails, the most dramatic change since the system’s inception two decades ago. “A new detention classification system will allow DJJ and the commonwealth to better enhance public safety while ensuring that Kentucky’s youth have the tools and opportunities for a successful second chance,” Gov. Beshear said.

After Groveling for Money From the RGA, Doug Mastriano Didn’t Even Spend All That He Managed to Raise
An embarrassing new report from the Philadelphia Inquirer reveals Pennsylvania GOP candidate Doug Mastriano finished his losing race with over $1 million left in the bank — 15% of the total money he had available in the race.
This comes as a surprise as Mastriano spent the campaign begging the RGA and his far-right supporters for money as he was outspent $66 million to $7 million.Now his fellow Republicans are turning on him, saying the money could have helped the party’s candidates down ballot. “It’s one of the most irresponsible and selfish actions I’ve seen a candidate for office at any level take,” said Pittsburgh-based Republican strategist Mark Harris.

Axios Highlights How New Dem Govs Made Freedom, Patriotism Central to Winning Campaigns
This week, Axios is shining a light on Democratic Govs.-Elect Wes Moore and Josh Shapiro for making core American values like freedom and patriotism central to their campaigns against Trump-backed election deniers.
“Democrats in the mold of Moore and Shapiro talk about sweeping policy agendas — education, health care, jobs — through the lens of freedom,” Axios reported, saying this winning strategy could be “a potential playbook for use against Trump-aligned Republicans.”
Read the full article here.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on MSNBC with Jonathan Capehart discussing attacks on the power grid and protecting voting rights and on MSNBC with Chuck Todd emphasizing how Democratic governors can win anywhere.
Massachusetts Gov.-Elect Maura Healey on MSNBC with Alex Wagner celebrating the impact of the Respect for Marriage Act.

“In Colorado, we value and respect freedom. The bottom line is that people want the government out of their bedrooms. The focus of leaders should be on protecting and expanding the freedoms of Americans and helping save them money.”

  • Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act.

On going 5 for 15 in midterm campaigning: “We picked hard races.” Who said it? Send your answer to, and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!If you guessed sore loser Kari Lake last week, you were correct! The failed Arizona gubernatorial candidate and conspiracy theorist continues to claim her election was fraudulent, despite having no evidence of fraud.