The Weekender (6/30/22)


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

Let’s get started.

Maryland: A new poll found the Maryland MAGA primary for governor is still neck and neck, with Dan Cox beating debate-dodging Kelly Schulz by 3% (25-22%). This is the third poll showing Cox leading Schulz, confirming the primary will be a race to the far right defined by loyalty to Trump and dangerous policies that are out of touch with the values of Marylanders. Schulz has spent the past few weeks skipping debates, trying to hide her extreme anti-choice beliefs, and complaining about DGA press releases exposing her real record. Meanwhile, Cox’s full embrace of Trump and the Big Lie has boosted him into frontrunner status. The reality is that both Schulz and Cox are entirely out-of-touch with most Marylanders — they both support banning abortion and making it easier for criminals to carry guns.
Wisconsin: In the first debate of the chaotic GOP primary, Kevin Nicholson, Rebecca Kleefisch, and Tim Ramthun all went full MAGA, embracing the Big Lie and pledging to preserve Wisconsin’s century-old abortion ban. The candidates piled criticism on Trump-endorsed Tim Michels, who failed to appear, leaving an empty podium in his place. The candidates “​​largely agreed on the issues Giganti brought forward, but a notable difference was in their answers to whether they believed the 2020 election was ‘stolen,’” the Green Bay Press Gazette reported. “Ramthun was unequivocal and said yes. Kleefisch and Nicholson attempted to evade a yes or no answer.” The Wisconsin State Journal added that all three candidates said “they would actively fire district attorneys who refuse to enforce Wisconsin’s 1849 law, which prohibits doctors from providing abortions unless the procedure is necessary to protect the mother’s life and contains no exemptions for rape and incest.”

Arizona GOP Candidates for Governor Embrace Extremism in Chaotic, Off-the-Rails Debate
The four far-right candidates for Arizona governor met last night for a debate packed with out-of-touch policies, conspiracy theories, and name-calling. The GOP hopefuls embraced the Big Lie and said they backed Arizona’s extreme abortion ban.Here’s a roundup of coverage on the messy, chaotic MAGA debate:


  • Fox 10 Phoenix: “Much of the hour-long debate came down to Lake and Taylor Robson, both of whom hurled insults, with Robson calling Lake ‘Fake Lake,’ and Lake focusing on Robson’s voting record.”


  • 3TV/CBS 5: “The debate grew heated between Robson and Lake. ‘Fake Lake, I am 100 percent pro-life,’ Robson said. ‘She’s right we do need someone who is a grown up and someone who calls names is not a grown up,’ Lake fired back. On abortion, all four said they’re pro-life and support the recent Supreme Court ruling striking down Roe vs. Wade.”


  • Associated Press: “Lake doubled down on the lie that former President Donald Trump lost because of fraud as the Republican candidates for governor squared off in a raucous debate Wednesday. Robson gave a nod to the widespread belief among Republican primary voters that something was amiss in 2020 and refused to say whether she would have certified the results.”


  • Axios Phoenix: “The rest of the debate was pure chaos. Arizona PBS anchor Ted Simons attempted to keep the candidates in line, but the night quickly devolved into name-calling and finger-pointing with Lake and Taylor Robson both fighting to show why they were more conservative and why the other was unfit for office.”

While GOP Candidates for Governor Take Dangerous, Extremist Position, the Total Ban on Abortion Passed by the KY Legislature is Widely Opposed
Newly revealed polling from Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group shows that 60% of Kentuckians approve of Gov. Andy Beshear’s job performance. In addition, Kentucky’s extremist law that bans abortion with no exceptions for rape and incest is deeply unpopular with the vast majority of Kentuckians. In this polling, only 14% of Kentucky voters said abortion should be illegal in all cases, and 62% oppose Kentucky’s new dangerous ban, which has no exceptions for rape or incest.Republican candidates for governor — Ryan Quarles, Daniel Cameron, and Savannah Maddox — all support this dangerous, extreme ban. In particular, after the Roe decision, Cameron said he supports the trigger law, while Maddox co-sponsored the trigger law banning abortion and, in announcing her candidacy, said, “I very much look forward to the moment in time when Roe v. Wade is overturned, and I’m going to continue to do everything that I can in the commonwealth of Kentucky to outlaw abortion.”

While the GOP candidates fight over who is more extreme, several polls have shown that Gov. Beshear has maintained high job approval across several recent polls as he continues to work with both parties to bring the Commonwealth together, breaking economic records and lowering costs for families.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on MSNBC with Rev. Al Sharpton describing her commitment to protecting abortion.Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on CNN with Don Lemon discussing the impact of the Roe v. Wade decision on women in Wisconsin.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker on CNN with Erin Burnett stressing the importance of electing Democratic governors to protect women’s rights.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on CNBC with Joe Kernen explaining how he’s lowering costs amid inflation.

Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams on CNN with Jake Tapper vowing to protect reproductive rights if elected governor.

“The takeaway from today’s SCOTUS ruling in West Virginia v EPA? The actions of governors & state legislatures are more important than ever.”

  • Washington Gov. Jay Inslee doubling down on his commitment to climate action in light of the Supreme Court decision restricting federal action.

This GOP candidate referred to the state’s most populous city as “the city of roaches.”Who said it? Send your answer to, and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!

If you guessed Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine last week, nice job! During a call with Ohio Right to Life, DeWine said he plans to “go as far as we can” to completely ban abortion. DeWine has already signed a dangerous law banning most abortions with no exceptions for rape or incest.