The Weekender (3/25/22)


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

Let’s get started.

Pennsylvania: The infighting in the Pennsylvania GOP primary for governor is intense, but there’s one thing the candidates agree on: They don’t want any hard-hitting questions on the debate stage, and they only want a moderator who is a “registered Republican.” According to PoliticsPA, the campaigns of Lou Barletta, Jake Corman, Bill McSwain, and Dave White signed a letter saying they won’t answer questions in a debate, unless certain conditions are met, including: “Moderators must be registered Republicans” and “No questions with answers shorter than 30 seconds.” The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jonathan Tamari summed up the demands by writing, “​​They want a safe space. No mean questions.”
Michigan:The Michigan GOP primary for governor is a dumpster fire that keeps getting worse. Insider-picked candidate James Craig suffered several massive blows this week as allies continue to jump off the sinking ship of his campaign. Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey snubbed Craig by endorsing Tudor Dixon, despite attending Craig’s campaign launch. And Craig lost his second campaign manager in four months this week. Meanwhile, so-called “quality guru” Perry Johnson didn’t quality check his own campaign ad, which was labeled misleading by the Detroit Metro Times and used Russian stock footage. In a sign that the entire field is out-of-touch, Craig, Dixon, Kevin Rinke, and Garrett Soldano are all pushing a harmful tax bill that would slash funding for law enforcement. In contrast to the GOP chaos, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently landed 1,200 new electric vehicle battery manufacturing jobs with LG Energy Solutions, worked across party lines to secure a deal to keep fixing the damn roads, and announced bonuses for childcare workers.

Geoff Diehl Cements Far-Right Ticket With Anti-Choice, Anti-Vax Running Mate
Trump-backed GOP primary frontrunner Geoff Diehl announced he’s picked a running mate who’s just as extreme as he is. Former state Rep. Leah Cole Allen, Diehl’s pick for lieutenant governor, is vehemently opposed to reproductive rights and is pandering to far-right extremists on vaccines.Politico reported that “Diehl’s campaign did not respond last night to questions about Allen’s vaccination status.” Allen is either refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccine or is refusing to publicly discuss her vaccination status — in a state where nearly 98% of the population has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine.Selecting Allen as his running falls in line with the rest of Diehl’s ultra-right campaign for governor, and Allen is just one of many far-right extremists Diehl has surrounded himself with. Recently, Diehl convened with the most conservative members of the GOP at CPAC, where he told conservative radio he was “not worrying about what’s going on in Massachusetts.” Diehl has gone all-in on his right-wing agenda and on embracing Donald Trump, a strategy reporting has called a “head-scratcher.”

Gov. Tim Walz Leads Minnesota to Lowest Unemployment Since ’99
Minnesota is seeing its lowest unemployment numbers since the turn of the century. According to new data, Minnesota’s unemployment rate fell to 2.7% — more than a full percentage point below the U.S. average employment rate and Minnesota’s lowest unemployment rate since 1999.Gov. Tim Walz has taken significant steps to boost the economy for all, contributing to these record-breaking unemployment numbers. He has invested in small businesses to get them back on their feet following the pandemic; made historic investments in infrastructure projects, and has given middle-class Minnesotans a tax break.But his work to create a strong labor force and economy doesn’t stop there — Gov. Walz’s proposed state budget would provide even more support for businesses, and it would give direct payments of $500 per individual to help offset rising costs.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont on CNBC with Becky Quick discussing how pausing the state’s gas tax will provide relief to consumers.Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams on MSNBC with Tiffany Cross talking about threats to democracy abroad and in her state.

“I never got to play goalie in hockey growing up, but I’m happy to play goalie now, blocking attacks on our democracy in our state.”

  • Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on being the last line of defense for democracy in the face of Republican attacks.

Wendy Rogers: “He is beloved by the grassroots, has fought for audits, supports President Trump and has been fighting for America First conservative issues his entire life.”Anti-Semitic white nationalist and conspiracy theorist state Sen. Wendy Rogers said it. But who did she say this about? Send your answer to, and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!

If you guessed Nevada GOP candidate for governor Dean Heller last week, nice job! Heller bragged that the latest PPP poll found opponent Joe Lombardo with dismal support, which drops off even more when voters hear about this record.