The Weekender (12/18/20)


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

This will be the last Weekender until January 2021. We hope everyone has a safe, happy holiday season.

Let’s get started.

Virginia: State Senator Amanda Chase, who had threatened to run as an independent, announced she will run for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. But Chase isn’t done playing spoiler yet – there’s still a chance her band of dedicated Trump supporters could win her the nomination. Virginia conventions have a history of electing extreme, Trump-like candidates because “only the most hardcore party activists are willing to travel across the state to participate.”

Even if Chase doesn’t manage to clinch the nomination, her presence at the convention will certainly force Kirk Cox into a race to the right to win over her die-hard Trump-like base.

New Jersey: NJ Republican Party Chairman Doug Steinhardt entered the race for governor, putting his support for Donald Trump at the forefront of his campaign. Steinhardt’s campaign announcement solidifies that the New Jersey Republican primary will be a race to the right – putting all three declared candidates far away from New Jerseyans’ values. Steinhardt, Jack Ciattarelli, and Hirsh Singh have all refused to acknowledge President-Elect Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election, which was called “the most secure election in history” by the Trump administration’s Department of Homeland Security.

Virginia GOP Candidate Amanda Chase Demands Trump Invoke Martial Law to Prevent a Biden Presidency

Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate and self-proclaimed “Trump in heels” Amanda Chase released a statement urging Donald Trump to “declare martial law” and proclaiming she will never accept the results of the 2020 election.

The Virginia GOP has embraced Donald Trump’s campaign to attack our democratic elections – the day after the election, VAGOP Chairman Rich Anderson released a statement saying he was confident Trump would win Virginia, “despite Democrats’ best attempts to manufacture votes in key states.” Chase has been campaigning for Trump across the commonwealth, without a mask, headlining “Stop the Steal” rallies and spreading baseless claims of voter fraud.

Chase and the Virginia GOP’s refusal to accept the outcome of a democratic election could do lasting damage to our democracy and undermine future elections. It’s clear the Virginia GOP can’t be trusted.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Continues to Receive High Marks From Michiganders For Her Handling of Pandemic

The majority of Michiganders support Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s handling of the pandemic, according to a new poll released by the Detroit Regional Chamber. The poll shows 63% of voters believe she “is aggressively working on getting the pandemic under control and protecting public health.”

Gov. Whitmer has put public health first during the pandemic, leading based on facts and science and refusing to play political games. She recently implemented new COVID-19 safety measures to protect Michiganders from the winter surge, and she’s fighting hard to repair the state’s economy. At the end of November, Gov. Whitmer proposed a $100 million state stimulus package to provide support to small businesses and families who have been hit hard by the pandemic.

Gov. Whitmer’s approval rating has remained higher than the Republican-led state legislature. The poll showed that nearly half of Michigan voters believe the Republican legislature is not doing everything it can, and of those voters 40.9% want the legislature to work with the governor. Michigan Republicans have been largely combative towards Gov. Whitmer – attempting to strip the governor of her emergency powers during a deadly public health crisis and failing to take up her pandemic relief proposal.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes, explaining how governors have taken the lead on the pandemic since day one.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle, giving a status update on his and his partner’s health after being diagnosed with COVID-19, and Colorado’s vaccine distribution plan. Gov. Polis could barely contain his excitement over receiving the first doses of the vaccine.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont on CNN’s New Day, talking about Connecticut’s vaccine rollout.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on CNBC’s Squawk Box, discussing New Jersey’s Pfizer vaccine rollout.

“It’s awful. States have been out there at the front lines fighting for this thing since Day 1. The rug’s getting pulled out.”

  • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy slamming Congressional Republicans for refusing to include state and local aid in the next federal stimulus package. 

“Back in 2015 a lot of people said a lot of things about the president. From the time that he was elected he has had my support. His policies work for the nation on a number of different areas.”

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

If you guessed South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem last week, you were right! Despite her state dealing with one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the United States, Gov. Noem took a victory lap in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, saying her approach, which has resulted in the highest per capita death rate in the country, was the right one.