The Weekender (3/4/22)


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

Let’s get started.

Georgia: As the “the divisive tone” of the Georgia Republican primary for governor “has only intensified in recent weeks,” new reports show that Brian Kemp is being forced to spend $4.2 million on television ads to defend himself from David Perdue’s Trump-backed challenge. This comes as the Hill writes, “Georgia’s hotly contested GOP gubernatorial primary is devolving into a no-holds-barred political fist fight, stirring concerns among some in the party that Republicans may be weakening their own chances of holding the governor’s mansion in November.” Kemp and Perdue have “sparred mercilessly” in speeches, ads, and through surrogates. Donald Trump slammed Kemp in a Perdue ad, saying he “let us down.” He’s also called Kemp “a disaster” and “terrible.” The pressure pushed the RGA to spend over $530,000 on ads to defend Kemp — the first time the RGA has spent on ads to support an incumbent in a primary.
New York: Lee Zeldin secured his state party’s endorsement for governor this week. At the New York GOP convention, the state party and Zeldin proved they’re more focused on far-right talking points than delivering for New Yorkers. Zeldin vehemently supports Trump’s dangerous agenda and was one of his most ardent defenders in Congress, leading the effort to oppose his impeachment both times. To prove his loyalty to Trump, Big Lie Lee also objected to certifying the results of the 2020 election and supported legal efforts to overturn the election. Meanwhile, Zeldin and his party have tried to drag New York backward at every turn. Zeldin voted to deny millions of people access to affordable health care, voted to defund Planned Parenthood, opposed the American Rescue Plan, which provided over $22 billion in relief to New Yorkers, and voted against middle-class tax relief in favor of giveaways for the rich. And Zeldin won’t have an easy path to the nomination. He’ll have to face off against self-funding millionaire Harry Wilson, who’s said he plans to spend millions on the race and has already slammed Zeldin as unelectable.

New Mexico GOP Candidates Do ‘Damage Control’ After GOP Convention Flop
After a chaotic and dysfunctional GOP convention in New Mexico, where none of the candidates posted a strong performance, the GOP candidates for governor are scrambling to put a positive spin on their abysmal showings of support.Mark Ronchetti’s campaign is doing “damage control” to try to spin their embarrassing fourth-place finish and the fact that they couldn’t even receive 20% delegate support. Rebecca Dow, who only received 28% in delegate support, blamed technological issues and “a barrage of attacks” directed against her for her lackluster performance.The infighting among the candidates in the GOP primary was in full force during the convention and leading up to it. Just days before the convention, Jay Block and Rebecca Dow went at each other after Dow accused Block of spreading rumors that she was trying to kick him off the ballot. In his convention speech, Ronchetti attacked his fellow candidates for their “backbiting and back-stabbing” and told them to “grow up.”

As Gov. Tim Walz Nets Record-Breaking Economic Growth for Minnesotans, Opponent Launches Irresponsible Vanity Campaign
Thanks to Gov. Tim Walz’s sound economic policy and fiscally responsible leadership, Minnesota is seeing significant economic growth. The governor just announced that Minnesota’s record-breaking $7.7 billion budget surplus has grown to $9.3 billion.Gov. Walz also proposed investing the unprecedented surplus back into Minnesotans’ pockets, with a record-breaking $2.7 billion bonding bill that will improve local infrastructure, create affordable housing, and tackle the climate crisis head-on. Gov. Walz has even proposed tripling his proposed direct payments to $1,000 to account for the surplus growth. According to a recent forecast, Minnesota also saw wages grow last year to their highest point in 20 years — nearly twice the rate of inflation.While Gov. Walz shows what responsible leadership looks like, his opponents are showing the exact opposite. Cory Hepola, a spoiler, third-party candidate, just announced his irresponsible vanity campaign for governor. With Minnesota’s GOP primary field of extreme radical candidates, Hepola’s candidacy threatens to undo the progress Gov. Walz has cemented and hand the office to an anti-choice, anti-LGBT extreme Republican.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker featured on CNN with Kate Bolduan slamming Vladimir Putin and condemning the invasion of Ukraine.Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams on the Daily Show with Trevor Noah discussing her plans for expanding Georgia’s economy, voting rights, and access to health care.

“I want to be the governor for each and every single one of you. And I want to bring us together to do the big things that we are truly capable of once we get past the smallness and the cruelty and the divisiveness of this moment.”

  • Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke celebrating his primary victory.

“I’m down here at CPAC, not worrying about what’s going on in Massachusetts.”Who said it? Send your answer to, and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!If you guessed Arizona GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake last week, you guessed correctly! In an OANN interview, Lake proudly spread election conspiracies, stating, “We did see what happened in 2020 right here in Arizona. And I believe we now know how they have been cheating. and so we’re going to be very watchful.”