The Weekender (6/25/21)


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

Let’s get started.

Virginia: Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe is ready to debate, but his Republican opponent Glenn Youngkin is running scared, refusing to commit to more than just one of the five scheduled debates and dodging questions to avoid explaining his cowardly Trumpian positions. Youngkin continues to parrot his fellow right-wing extremists, even wrangling an endorsement from Texas GOP Senator Ted Cruz. Youngkin is also leaning into invented political games by stoking fear as part of a larger Republican campaign to avoid the real issues facing Virginians. Youngkin’s platform itself is a circus of backward and harmful policies, including his opposition to Medicaid expansion and his insistence that investigating voting machines is the “most important issue” in Virginia. While McAuliffe continues to run a strong state-wide campaign, Glenn ‘Trumpkin’ embraces his role as Virginia’s right-wing circus clown.

New Jersey: This past week, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy’s re-election campaign released a new digital ad targeting GOP nominee Jack Ciattarelli and his support for economic policies that only benefit “wealthy and well-connected” New Jerseyans. As predicted during the GOP primary, Republican nominee Jack Ciattarelli’s record of supporting Donald Trump is dragging him down. The ad was released at a time where polls show Gov. Murphy with a 15-point lead. Now facing even more backlash across the state, Ciattarelli is in for a rough race and a decisive defeat.

Cheating Ciattarelli in Hot Water for Violating Public Financing Laws

Just one week after winning the New Jersey GOP primary for governor, Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli was caught improperly raising money for his campaign. Last week, the New Jersey Democratic State Committee filed a formal complaint with the Election Law Enforcement Commission against Ciattarelli for violating campaign finance regulations.

This isn’t the first time Ciattarelli’s ethics have come into question. Ciattarelli headlined a “Stop the Steal” rally in Trump’s honor in the weeks that led up to the deadly January 6th insurrection.  His primary campaign was driven by desperate attempts to win over Trump’s New Jersey base, and he’s been running scared ever since.

Ciattarelli’s unethical fundraising and support for Trump’s “Big Lie” show his lack of respect for the law and the people of New Jersey. New Jersey deserves better than Jack Ciattarelli.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signs voter access plan, rejecting anti-democratic voter suppression efforts by GOP

Mark your calendars — Illinois’ primary election will be moved from March to June in 2022 under a plan that expands voter access in the state.

Gov. Pritzker is taking a stand against Republican voter suppression efforts by rescheduling the primary, expanding curbside voting, making vote-by-mail a permanent option and making Election Day in November a state holiday. Gov. Pritzker’s bold leadership is an emphatic rejection of Republican conspiracies and a powerful example for Democrats working to increase voting access.

“With attacks on voting rights on the rise in states across the nation,” Gov. Pritzker explained, “Illinois is proud to stand up for a strong, secure, and accessible democracy.”

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont on Bloomberg with David Westin discussing the importance of investing in education and infrastructure.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards on MSNBC with Chuck Todd explaining his veto of the transgender student-athlete bill proposed by Republican state legislators.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on CNN with John Berman discussing the state’s reopening and the extremification of the Michigan GOP.

“Health care is a human right. It is unconscionable that Republicans have time and again attempted to gut the Affordable Care Act, putting nearly 30 million Americans’ health care coverage in jeopardy.”

– DGA Chair Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, in her statement on the Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act

“My tour with Bill O’Reilly is getting a lot of attention, and I’m looking forward to it. Maybe tickets would make a great Father’s Day gift?”

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

If you guessed Nevada GOP primary candidate Joey Gilbert last week, you’re spot on! In an interview with CNN on the deadly January 6th insurrection, Gilbert stated that “if election integrity is not the number one issue of these guys running, then they’re either lost, confused or too stupid to be running.” Gilbert himself was caught on camera at the Capitol that day, scaling the steps alongside other far-right election deniers and conspiracy theorists.