The Weekender (6/3/22)


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

Let’s get started.

Wisconsin:Months after Wisconsin’s radical, scammer businessman, Tim Michels, flew down to Mar-a-Lago to kiss Trump’s ring, the former president announced he’s endorsing Michels, fracturing the already divided Republican Party in Wisconsin and setting off a sprint to the right in the GOP primary. Trump’s endorsement just turned the dumpster fire primary into a five-alarm fire and will inevitably spur more infighting and division in an already chaotic GOP primary for governor. Just a couple of weeks ago, Republicans at the state convention failed to come together and endorse a candidate for governor. Now, the party is more divided than ever. Other candidates in the field like Rebecca Kleefisch and Kevin Nicholson will go to even further extremes than they already have to court fringe GOP votes and prove they’re the most conservative candidate in the race. Michels also promised Wisconsinites they’ll be seeing more of Donald Trump before the primary is over. Addressing the possibility of Trump coming to Wisconsin for a campaign rally in a radio interview this morning, Michels said, “I’m sure he will.”
Georgia:The nasty GOP primary in Georgia may be over, but Brian Kemp’s problems with Donald Trump are here to stay. Kemp is reportedly desperate to broker a “truce” between himself and Trump, but the former president is making clear he wants no part in it. Most recently, Trump has been implying that Kemp rigged the Republican primary election, telling his supporters “something stinks in Georgia.” Republicans even admitted there’s no sign of Trump reconciling with Kemp — especially after Mike Pence campaigned for him, further driving a wedge in the GOP. Kemp’s ongoing Trump problem is making his task of consolidating Republican support even more difficult. Immediately following the primary, Republicans across Georgia said, “I don’t think I can vote for Brian Kemp.”

Craig, Johnson Strike Out in Court As Signature Forging Scandal Still Keeps Them Off Ballot
The trainwreck Republican signature forging scandal continues to hand James Craig and Perry Johnson huge losses this week, with courts confirming the initial ruling that neither can appear on the ballot.The court rulings came ahead of the GOP debate on Mackinac Island, where all eyes in Michigan politics were on the small field of extremists, where the four little-known GOP candidates on stage — Tudor Dixon, Garrett Soldano, Kevin Rinke, and Ralph Rebandt — all pushed their radical and out-of-touch positions.

Pollster Ed Sarpolus said: “The Republicans are so upset at the loss of their top-tier candidates, they’re still punishing the party … They’re still unwilling to commit to this group.”

Boston Globe: Massachusetts GOP Candidates Go Full MAGA, “Reject the Politics” of Charlie Baker
Reporting in the Boston Globe is detailing how, in Massachusetts, “the moderate GOP teeters on the brink of extinction” as the GOP candidates flock to the MAGA movement and reject Gov. Charlie Baker. The Globe writes, “this year, at least, it’s the Trump-influenced wing of the Massachusetts GOP that will appear on the ballot.”Nowhere is that clearer than in the governor’s race, where Geoff Diehl, who won the MA GOP’s endorsement and is dominating the Republican field, is going “all-in on Trump.”

Diehl and the rest of his party’s support for extreme far-right positions puts them on the opposite side of the vast majority of Massachusetts voters on key issues like gun safety and reproductive rights. The Globe notes, “Seventy-four percent of Massachusetts adults believe abortion should be legal in most or all cases..and 98 percent of registered voters support background checks for anyone who buys a gun. The state GOP’s leadership vehemently opposes abortion, and…Diehl, has in the past earned support from the National Rifle Association.”

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Bloomberg with Joe Mathieu talking about taking action on gun safety.Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee on Cheddar Business discusses opening the nation’s first federally-supported COVID test-to-treat clinic.

“I’m not running to be ‘the first’ — I’m running to get stuff done, to make life better for all Oregonians. But I hope that by running as my authentic and true self, LGBTQ+ kids will know they can be whoever they want to be, that life will get better.”

On commonsense and popular gun safety policies: “We saw Hitler do the same thing in Germany in the ‘30s.”Who said it? Send your answer to, and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!

If you guessed New Hampshire Republican Gov. Chris Sununu last time, great job! Gov. Sununu bragged, “I’ve done more on the pro-life issue than anyone,” after trying to say he was “pro-choice” just one week before — despite his real record of signing an abortion ban into law.