The Weekender (2/25/22)


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

Let’s get started.

Massachusetts: The Massachusetts governor’s seat is a top pickup opportunity for Democrats, and the Boston Globe reports that Republicans are increasingly in trouble. “Recently, the party has struggled to even hold routine meetings and pay regular expenses,” the Globe said, “let alone tackle crucial tasks like candidate recruitment and fund-raising, amid increasingly bitter internal disputes.” The party’s top candidate, Geoff Diehl, is worrying party insiders by running on a “head-scratcher” campaign strategy of embracing Donald Trump in one of the most anti-Trump states in the country. After his decision not to seek reelection “robbed Republicans of their best shot at holding the corner office,” Gov. Charlie Baker kicked the party on his way out. The state party is supposed to “number one, raise money to support candidates; number two, create a message that will resonate with voters on Election Day; and number three, have the ground force in place to support those candidates in ways that go beyond just raising money,” he said. “I don’t think the party is delivering on any of those objectives right now.”
New Mexico: New Santa Fe New Mexican reporting exposes infighting in the New Mexico GOP gubernatorial primary. Republican candidate Jay Block was caught lying on the record after a lawsuit was filed against him alleging he failed to get enough ballot signatures. Block stated he was unaware of the complaint — even though he had already sent out a fundraising email requesting “help staying on the ballot.” Block backtracked and acknowledged the complaint when called out, calling it “a dirty political trick.” When asked, fellow candidate Rebecca Dow denied she had any involvement in the lawsuit and accused Block of “putting rumors out there” that she was the one behind it. This he-said-she-said bickering between the GOP candidates is picking up just in time for the New Mexico Republican State Convention this weekend, where the infighting between the GOP candidates for governor is sure to be on full display.

Chicago Tribune Exposes Richard Irvin’s Not-So-“Tough-on-Crime” Record
A new report from the Chicago Tribune slams Richard Irvin for promoting himself as “tough-on-crime” while hiding his record of getting paid to keep clients accused of kidnapping, domestic violence, and other crimes he now condemns in campaign ads out of jail. The Tribune pointed to court records showing Irvin represented a man accused of assaulting a police officer, and Irvin’s law firm represented Gary Martin, who went on to commit the worst mass shooting in Aurora history.As they have on every other issue that isn’t politically convenient, Irvin’s campaign refused to answer specific questions about his record or why he hasn’t mentioned it during his campaign. Now that big donor Ken Griffin is pushing him into a law-and-order role, Irvin is desperate to hide how he downplayed domestic violence, appealed to violent offenders, and advertised his time as a prosecutor as helpful in forming defense strategies.This isn’t the first time Irvin has been caught flip-flopping. He’s been called out by opponents for voting in Democratic primaries for years, supporting Gov. JB Pritzker, and changing his stance on COVID safety measures. The Tribune also highlighted how Irvin “staunchly endorsed the Black Lives Matter movement” but now says “all lives matter” in his campaign launch video.

Gov. Steve Sisolak Highlights Strong Record and Bold Ideas In State of the State Address While GOP Candidates Run on Inaction
In his State of the State address, Gov. Steve Sisolak highlighted his record and his plans to invest in Nevada’s children, affordable housing, and more. While the GOP field hasn’t offered any plans to improve Nevada’s schools, Gov. Sisolak has improved Nevada from 13th to 9th in higher education, lowered the average college debt by nearly $3,000, and led Clark County to rank second in the nation in workforce development.Gov. Sisolak has also championed policies to keep Nevadans healthy — including protecting those with pre-existing conditions, fighting surprise billing, and adopting a public health insurance program. In contrast, the GOP has no plan to expand access to health care. Instead, candidates like Joe Lombardo and Michele Fiore politicize vaccines, and Dean Heller even voted to strip nearly 400,000 Nevadans of their health insurance.Nevada’s economy is getting back on track thanks to Gov. Sisolak’s leadership, with the best economic momentum in the country, record-breaking gaming industry profits, and over $100 million in grants distributed to small businesses and organizations. Meanwhile, Republicans have no plans for the state’s economic recovery, and some even criticized the bipartisan federal legislation helping Gov. Sisolak invest in Nevadans.

Gov. Sisolak announced he’s increasing police wages, the latest in his long record of supporting law enforcement. The GOP field has offered no substantive plans to protect Nevadans. Sheriff Lombardo has even called for defunding the police and oversaw a 44% rise in homicides under his watch.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on MSNBC with Jonathan Capehart discussing his first-in-the-nation COVID response plan and his plans to get guns off the streets.Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on CNN with Dana Bash talking about rolling back COVID restrictions and the recent onslaught of attacks against LGBTQ+ youth.Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams on CNBC with Andrew Ross Sorkin discussing her campaign and her experience as a businessperson.

“Over the last year, we’ve delivered strong leadership in a time of crisis, and going forward, my message to Rhode Island is simple: I’m running for re-election to grow jobs, boost wages, grow our economy, and put money back in your pockets.”

  • Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee announcing his run for re-election.

“We’ll have poll watchers out. We’re not going to be pushed back again, and we will make sure that we’re keeping an eye on the ways that they cheated. The dropbox is we’re going to keep an eye, and hopefully, we get some legislation.”Who said it? Send your answer to, and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!If you guessed Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate David Perdue last week, you guessed right! On MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s show, Perdue said, “Look at President Trump — if the next president can lose the right to be on Twitter, I mean, where are we, where are the rest of us? This is way out of bounds.” He followed up by saying, “When individual citizens lose the right of free voice, then we turn into a Germany in 1933.”