The Weekender (5/14/21)


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

Let’s get started.

Virginia: After a long and impossibly confusing Republican convention characterized by extremely underwhelming turnout, Trump loyalist Glenn Youngkin barely emerged the winner of the Virginia Republican primary for governor. Youngkin is an out-of-touch and toxic candidate that’s running on an extreme agenda that includes supporting Trump’s false conspiracies about the 2020 election, opposing the critical federal COVID-19 passed in the American Rescue Plan, and attacking Medicaid expansion. Less than 24 hours after eking out a win, Youngkin was immediately endorsed by Donald Trump. Youngkin reacted to the endorsement with pride, saying he was “totally honored” to receive the former president’s endorsement.

New Jersey: While the civil war in the New Jersey Republican primary for governor wages on, a new poll showed that New Jerseyans continue to overwhelmingly approve of the job Gov. Phil Murphy has done handling the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Murphy also signed legislation this week requiring all health care professionals who provide perinatal treatment and care to pregnant persons at a hospital or birthing center to undergo explicit and implicit bias training. The requirement of explicit and implicit bias training will help to improve New Jersey’s high rates of Black maternal and infant mortality and the racial disparities that drive the crisis. 

Under DeWine, Ohio is #1 in Political Corruption

Under Mike DeWine, Ohio is making headlines for being named the #1 state in the country when it comes to public corruption thanks to a $61 million bribery scandal that resulted in the arrest of the former Republican Speaker of the Ohio Statehouse and four Republican lobbyists and campaign consultants. 

On Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s watch, FBI investigators are saying this scandal is “in a league of its own” in terms of the size and scope of the corruption. DeWine’s connections to the scandal run deep, and many of his top administration officials are tied to it.

The actors who paid millions to Republican legislators for a massive bailout bill that Ohioans paid for are the same ones who bankrolled DeWine’s campaign, spending at least $1 million in dark money contributions to get him elected. DeWine also surrounded himself with corrupt lobbyists who are now under FBI investigation. He appointed them to top positions in his administration even against the advice of his own party.

DGA Immediately Launches Digital Ads Across Virginia Exposing Glenn Youngkin’s Undying Loyalty to Trump’s Toxic Agenda

While Republicans were still recovering from the aftermath of their chaotic and divisive convention, the Democratic Governors Association launched a digital ad campaign exposing Glenn Youngkin’s undying loyalty to Trump and his toxic agenda. Time and time again, where Donald Trump leads, Glenn Youngkin follows. Watch the 30 second ad here

Whether it was refusing to denounce Trump’s Big Lie about the 2020 election or pushing unnecessary restrictions to voting as his only policy proposal in the GOP primary, Youngkin is putting Trump first — no matter how harmful or unpopular it is in Virginia. The Washington Post even reported that Youngkin “declined to say if he believes Biden was legitimately elected.” 

The nearly six figure digital ad buy is targeting areas across Virginia where residents are increasingly critical of Trump and Youngkin’s shared, unpopular policies. The robust digital campaign includes 30 and 15 second ads, graphics, and a new website —

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear on MSNBC with Hallie Jackson, talking about getting shots in arms and the economic growth that’s causing the state to come back strong following the pandemic. 

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on CNN with Anderson Cooper, reassuring people amid a gas shortage that there is no need to panic buy gas and detailing the steps he’s taking to make sure services have the support they need during the temporary shortage. 

READ: DGA Chair New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grishman in an op-ed for The Hill outlining her unequivocal position in support of D.C. statehood. 

“We implemented a holistic approach to economic development, recognizing that true prosperity is achieved by investing in services like education, transportation, broadband and health care.”
– Gov. Laura Kelly in an op-ed penned to the Wichita Eagle on Kansas surpassing $5 billion in new capital investment 

“Glenn is pro-Business, pro-Second Amendment, pro-Veterans, pro-America, he knows how to make Virginia’s economy rip-roaring, and he has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”

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

If you guessed former reality TV star and California gubernatorial candidate Caitlyn Jenner last week, you were right! Jenner, who launched her campaign last month to run in a recall election aimed at deposing Newsom, targeted the Democratic governor for the state’s taxes and homeless population.