The Weekender (6/4/21)


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

Let’s get started.

Virginia: On Tuesday, June 8th, Virginia Democrats will head to the polls to pick their nominee. The candidates took the debate stage this week for one final pitch to voters. Meanwhile, GOP nominee Glenn Youngkin “is mastering the duck and the dodge” and flip-flopping on issues of reproductive rights and gun control. Unlike the Democratic candidates for governor, Youngkin has no issues page on his website. The Editorial Board of the Washington Post wrote this week, “For Mr. Youngkin, silence on the substance of policy is a strategy.”

New Jersey: Also on June 8th, New Jersey Republicans are gearing up for a test of former President Donald Trump’s hold on the party. In the final week of the primary, Republican candidates Ciatarelli and Singh have continued their endless bickering over who can out-Trump the other. Ciattarelli, who headlined a “Stop the Steal” rally and says Trump’s policies “worked for the country,” is desperately trying to prove himself as loyal to Donald Trump’s extremism. But Singh, who calls himself the “only candidate in this race who is proudly pro-Trump,”  also promotes Donald Trump’s anti-democratic conspiracy theories. Singh has said election integrity and immigration are New Jersey’s biggest issues, and he opposes LGBTQ+ curriculum in public schools. This race is still anyone’s game, and whoever comes out on top won’t be able to distance themself from the far-right extremism of this primary.

DeWine Under Fire Again as Republican Infighting Emboldens Far-Right Challengers

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s hold over his own party is slipping as the ongoing GOP civil war is ramping up in Ohio, with likely primary challengers like former Congressman Jim Renacci smelling blood in the water. Political science professor David Niven told the Cincinnati Enquirer that “there’s an awful lot of people in his party who consider his leadership the last year to be an unforgivable sin.”

In just the past few months, a Republican lawmaker tried to impeach DeWine, the GOP-controlled legislature forced checks on the governor’s health orders and blocked his gun reforms, and his running mate was booed at a Trump rally for suggesting attendees wear masks. Among the anti-DeWine Republicans is Joe Blystone, a fringe primary candidate who even called for DeWine to be jailed over COVID restrictions.

The Cincinnati Enquirer added that “Former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale recently shared a poll that showed DeWine under water with Republican voters: 52% viewed DeWine somewhat or very unfavorably and 54% somewhat or strongly disapproved of his job performance.”

Gov. Newsom follows through on promise to create slavery reparations task force, making history in California

Following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s approval last year, California’s reparations task force met for the first time on Tuesday, June 1. California lawmakers, led by now-Sec. of State Shirley Weber, created the task force to “Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans, with a Special Consideration for African Americans Who are Descendants of Persons Enslaved in the United States.” Assembly Bill 3121, the law creating the task force, was signed last year by Gov. Newsom as a step towards recognizing California’s role in slavery and its lasting effects. 

The task force consists of nine members appointed by California’s Governor, Senate, and Assembly, each with a unique background. Members include a psychologist, pastor, civil rights litigator, lawyer, professor, and others previously involved in politics. They are expected to hold ten meetings over the next two years. 

“As our country reckons with our painful legacy of racial injustice, Newsom said, “California again is poised to lead the way towards a more equitable and inclusive future for all.”

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on MSNBC with Stephanie Ruhle to discuss the state’s economic recovery and new vaccination lottery, which he says has been successful.

Delaware Gov. John Carney on GMA3: What You Need To Know with Amy Robach and T. J. Holmes discussing vaccine distribution success and the launch of a public education and incentive program aimed at increasing vaccination rates.

Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Ben Wikler on MSNBC with Rachel Maddow talking about the importance of re-electing Gov. Tony Evers.

“Michigan celebrates LGBTQ+ individuals during this month, and we also recognize the important work that must be done across intersections to create a more equitable state for all identities.”

– Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declares June as Pride Month and says more work must be done to ensure all identities are treated equally.

“The Biden proposals are totally underproductive, killing incentive, and it puts us right on the road to socialism.” 

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

If you guessed New Jersey GOP candidate Hirsh Singh last week, you were right! Last week Singh tweeted an attack at fellow GOP candidate Jack Ciatarelli in their endless battle to out-Trump each other.