The Weekender (5/13/22)


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

Let’s get started.

Kansas: In celebration of Gov. Laura Kelly signing bipartisan legislation to finally eliminate the sales tax on groceries in Kansas, the DGA launched an online video game at Gov. Kelly signed the fiscally responsible and bipartisan bill to end the tax on groceries this week, delivering on a signature campaign promise and putting money back into Kansans’ pockets. Once eliminated, axing the food tax is estimated to save Kansas families an average of $500 a year. Last week, Gov. Kelly signed a $1 billion tax cut for over one million Kansans. In contrast, Republican opponent Derek Schmidt voted to raise the food sales tax in the state Senate and refused to support Gov. Kelly’s plan to eliminate the food tax, even saying he had no opinion in written testimony. Additionally, the Topeka Capital-Journal recently added that Schmidt “doesn’t support efforts from Republicans or Democrats to cut taxes further.”
Illinois: After months of dodging questions and ducking on-air attacks from opponents, Richard Irvin’s “well-funded exercise in pure projection” appears to be flailing. New public polling from WGN shows an increasingly tight race between Irvin and top contender Darren Bailey for the Illinois GOP gubernatorial nomination. Irvin’s duck and dodge strategy has voters questioning his record, while Bailey’s full-frontal embrace of Donald Trump has solidified him as the most conservative in the race. After a disastrous press conference earlier this week, it’s clear voters don’t want just another dishonest Rauner-wannabe in office.

All the MI GOP Candidates Doubled Down on Extreme Abortion Bans in Debate
In the first debate of the crowded GOP primary, all of the candidates doubled down on their support for Michigan’s 1931 abortion ban, which has no exceptions for rape or incest and would immediately go into effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned.When asked directly if they support the law, Tudor Dixon called the ban a “good law.” Perry Johnson said, “I have to agree with Tudor,” and Kevin Rinke echoed, “Michigan’s law is appropriate.” James Craig, who has also said he will do “whatever I can” to support the ban, didn’t get to share his extreme stance on the debate stage because he dropped out of the event at the last minute.

New York Times Highlights How Threat to Reproductive Rights in PA is Galvanizing Pennsylvanians to Vote for Democrats
New reporting from the New York Times highlights how the state of reproductive freedoms in Pennsylvania will come down to who is elected governor in November. While every leading Republican candidate in Pennsylvania’s far-right gubernatorial primary promises to ban abortion, Attorney General Josh Shapiro continues to be a fierce defender of reproductive rights.The reporting details how the high stakes for reproductive rights are galvanizing voters to support a Democrat in the governor’s race. One voter, who described herself as a “Catholic Republican,” said the threat to abortion access is “absolutely,” driving her to vote Democrat “on that issue alone.”

All four leading GOP candidates have said they support extreme abortion bans. Lou Barletta has said he would sign “any bill that comes to my desk that would protect the life of the unborn.” Doug Mastriano noted in a recent debate that he was opposed to any exceptions — for rape, incest, or the health of the mother — in an abortion ban and has introduced a 6-week abortion ban in the legislature. Today, the Philadelphia Inquirer Editorial Board took the extraordinary step of announcing that the entire Republican field for governor is too extreme to endorse in a GOP primary, citing both their embrace of the Big Lie and support for banning abortion.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker on MSNBC with Jesse Kirsch stressing the importance of electing Democratic governors to protect reproductive rights.Texas Democratic gubernatorial nominee Beto O’Rourke on MSNBC with Liz McLaughlin talking about the importance of turning out to vote and rejecting Gov. Greg Abbott’s abortion ban.

“Mike DeWine fancies himself the most anti-choice governor in the country. Now that this has moved from a national issue to a state issue, it makes the governor’s race even more key for women across the state of Ohio.”

  • Ohio Democratic nominee for governor Nan Whaley commiting to protecting reproductive rights and emphasizing Democratic governors as the last line of defense.

After falsely claiming he was “pro-choice” just last week: “I’ve done more on the pro-life issue than anyone.”Who said it? Send your answer to, and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!

If you guessed Wisconsin GOP candidate for governor Tim Michels last week, you were right! In response to the news that the Supreme Court will likely overturn Roe v. Wade, Michels said, “I have long worked for and prayed for this moment.”