The Weekender (6/12/20)


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

West Virginia: Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango won the Democratic gubernatorial primary on Tuesday. Salango has spent his career focused on creating jobs for his community and protecting the hardworking families of West Virginia. Gov. Jim Justice won the Republican gubernatorial nomination after a nasty race which included a primary challenge from his own former Secretary of Commerce Woody Thrasher.
New Hampshire: Despite GOP Gov. Chris Sununu’s efforts to make it difficult for primary challengers to get on the ballot, longtime conservative activist Karen Testerman announced she would challenge Sununu in the September gubernatorial primary. On the Democratic side, gubernatorial candidates Dan Feltes and Andru Volinsky criticized Sununu’s proposal for distributing aid from the CARES Act as not doing enough to help small businesses.

Greg Gianforte Loses Major Endorsement To Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney Due To Notorious Hostility To Public Lands
It’s only been a week since the primary, but it’s already clear New Jersey millionaire Greg Gianforte has a bumpy road ahead. He’s going up against lifelong public lands champion Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney – who just netted a major endorsement from the Montana Conservation Voters Action Fund.
After buying up large tracts of land and then suing to block public access to a popular local fishing spot, Gianforte lost his first bid to become governor. Having not learned their lesson the last time, the MTGOP nominated Gianforte again despite the fact that his views on public access put him in conflict with 90% of Montanans.
As Montana’s lone Congressman, Gianforte has repeatedly undermined public lands stewardship. Former Montana Bureau of Land Management Directors said two bills Gianforte introduced would “strip protections from cherished public lands… a blatant, top-down, special interest driven attack on our public lands.”

Every State, Every Vote: Maine Gov. Janet Mills Extends Voter Registration Deadline Ahead of July Primary
Democratic Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed an executive order extending the mail-in voter registration deadline and simplifying the absentee ballot process. The order will make it easier for voters to cast their ballots by mail in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gov. Mills’ order also allows election clerks to set up secure drop-boxes for absentee ballots for easier submission, and gives towns and cities across the state more time to consolidate polling locations if they are unable to recruit enough poll workers.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on CNBC’s Closing Bell, discussing the progress of his state’s reopening.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on MSNBC’s Meet the Press Daily, explaining why he joined a Black Lives Matter protest and vigil to stand up against the stain of racism. Murphy also offers advice on staying safe and social distancing while protesting.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle, discussing why Michigan was one of the first states to release the racial make-up of people who were testing for COVID-19 and her state’s task force on racial disparity. She acknowledges, as a nation, “we have a lot of work to do.”

“These numbers are stark. They tell a story that Black Americans have been living and telling us every day – even when there’s no spotlight. It’s important to recognize these numbers and identify the disparities. But it’s even more important and challenging to do something about it.”

“There will be no funky chicken.”
Who said it? Send your answer to and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!
If you guessed GOP Missouri Gov. Mike Parson last week, you were right! Parson told Missourians if they didn’t feel safe voting in local elections, “don’t go out and vote.” This jaw-dropping statement was summed up perfectly by the KC Star Editorial Board: “Parson’s message that we should bail on voting rather than risking our health is especially outrageous because in Missouri, it’s his party that’s determined to force people to choose between staying safe and doing their duty as a citizen.