The Weekender (5/6/22)


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

Let’s get started.

Arizona: As Kari Lake and Karrin Taylor Robson race to the right in the Arizona GOP primary for governor, they are hitting each other and promising MAGA-tested action on immigration they can’t deliver on. Robson’s campaign has slammed Lake for supporting open borders, and Lake has said the same of Robson, adding that she’s “pro-illegal immigration” and “pro-amnesty.” Robson has centered her campaign on a pledge to “finish the wall,” but local news outlets have debunked the plan. According to KPNX, a governor “could not finish the border wall” without permission from the tribal and federal governments that own most of the un-walled land. Even Robson herself has privately admitted she doesn’t have the jurisdiction to fulfill her campaign promise. The GOP primary field is so bad that the RGA is up with an ad that praises RGA Chair Gov. Doug Ducey, who’s not even up for reelection, rather than any candidate in the current GOP field.
Minnesota: Minnesota GOP primary frontrunner Scott Jensen recently announced he believes Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon deserves jail time for how he’s managed the state’s election system. At a GOP organizing convention, Jensen warned “the hammer’s coming down” on Simon and declared, “Steve Simon, you maybe better check out to see if you look good in stripes, because you’ve gotten away with too much.” This is just the latest of Jensen’s dangerous, extreme comments. In addition to welcoming support from Vladamir Putin, Jensen admitted he “would try to ban abortion” if elected governor. With Jensen leading the field, the other candidates will have to double down on their own extreme agendas if they want a shot at overtaking his lead. Already, all of the candidates in the Minnesota primary refused to admit the 2020 election results were legitimate.

Joe Lombardo Hit With Resounding Rejection at Nevada GOP Convention
Joe Lombardo continues to stumble in the Nevada GOP primary for governor, failing to win the state party’s endorsement vote at their convention last weekend. Lombardo’s stinging rejection comes even after his campaign attempted to right the ship with an endorsement from Trump. At the convention, 68.5% of voters rejected endorsing Lombardo (the vote was accompanied by cheers), and primary opponent and far-right extremist Joey Gilbert came away with the win.The Nevada Independent’s Jon Ralston described the vote as “a vote of no confidence,” while Gilbert received “a resounding endorsement.” Gilbert and the rest of the primary field have viciously attacked Lombardo’s record for months.Despite the millions Lombardo’s camp has spent on television to boost his candidacy, Lombardo’s campaign is not catching fire. And the candidate is not helping. Just last week, Lombardo’s foot found his mouth when he called health care expansion “bullshit” at a GOP forum. And throughout his campaign, “No Show Joe” has been avoiding Nevada voters by dodging appearances and questions.

ICYMI: With Reproductive Freedom on the Line, Democratic Governors Are the “Last Line of Defense to Protect Abortion Rights”
In response to the draft Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, news coverage is putting Democratic governors in the spotlight for their critical role as the last lines of defense against the GOP’s coordinated efforts to ban abortion.“In a post-Roe moment, much of the on-the-ground access to abortion will depend on the outcome of state-level races … Republicans have laws at the ready to ban abortion. Governors … stand in their way,” wrote Rolling Stone. The Washington Post reported that “… Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan — all have Democratic governors and GOP-controlled legislatures. Again and again and again, those Democratic governors have vetoed and/or vowed to block various GOP bills targeting abortion rights.”In response to the brief, Democratic governors are vowing to keep abortion legal in their states and pushing Congress to do the same federally. Democratic governors from 17 states sent a letter urging Congress to “immediately take action to ensure that our nation does not go backward and that the rights of all Americans to access reproductive healthcare and abortion continue to be protected.”

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on CNN with Don Lemon talking about what he’s done to protect abortion rights.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker on CNN with Don Lemon and on MSNBC with Mika Brzezinski on how he plans to protect women’s reproductive health.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on MSNBC with Chris Hayes and on CNN with Don Lemon discussing her lawsuit to overturn Michigan’s 1931 abortion ban.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on MSNBC with Katy Tur discussing his signing of the Reproductive Freedom Act and how abortions will remain legal in his state.
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on CNN with Jake Tapper on defending abortion rights if Roe is overturned.New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on MSNBC with Yasmin Vossoughian talking about New York as a safe haven for women seeking reproductive health care.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on CNN with Anderson Cooper vowing to defend abortion rights.

Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams on MSNBC with Chris Hayes discussing how she plans to combat GOP ‘heartbeat’ bills.

Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro on MSNBC with Nicole Wallace committing to protecting abortion rights if elected.

Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke on CNN with Don Lemon slamming abortion bans in Texas and re-affirming his commitment to protecting abortion rights.

“Abortion is safe and legal in Michigan — for now. As long as I’m in office, I will fight like hell to make sure it stays that way.”

  • Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reaffirming her commitment to protecting the right to choose.

On the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade: “I have long worked for and prayed for this moment.”
Who said it? Send your answer to, and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!
If you guessed Florida Gov. Ron Desantis last week, you were right! In response to concerns that his bill attacking Disney could lead to a 25% property tax increase for local counties, he responded, “Trust me … Don’t worry about that.”