The Weekender (7/10/20)


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

Let’s get started.

Montana: Good Jobs MT, an independent organization backed by the Democratic Governors Association, released a new TV ad in Montana, “Vital.” Access to affordable health care is vital, especially now, during the COVID-19 pandemic. But as Montana’s sole Congressman, Greg Gianforte supported cutting Medicare, access to doctors close to home, and insurance oversight so premiums could rise to over $10,000. Gianforte also gave the health care industry billions in tax breaks while accepting thousands in campaign contributions from them. The ad makes it clear – Greg Gianforte is out for himself, not for Montanans.

North Carolina: Politico updated its ranking in the North Carolina governor’s race from “toss-up” to “lean Democratic” due to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s rising approval ratings. North Carolinians overwhelmingly approve of Gov. Cooper’s COVID-19 response – in two separate May polls, Cooper’s approval rating was at 63% and 70% for his handling of the pandemic. Gov. Cooper has followed the advice of public health experts and basic common sense in combating the virus while his Republican opponent Lt. Gov. Dan Forest has taken to spreading lies and dangerous conspiracy theories.

“I Won’t Vote For Him”: Former Republican Gubernatorial Nominee Disavows Greg Gianforte

The Montana gubernatorial primary might be over, but the GOP civil war rages on. Bob Brown, a former Montana Republican gubernatorial nominee, penned a searing op-ed in the Missoulian in which he declared his independence from GOP gubernatorial candidate Rep. Greg Gianforte and announced he would not vote for him in November.

Brown cites Gianforte’s dismissiveness towards the clear and necessary public health measures in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic as the tipping point for his rejection of Gianforte’s candidacy. 

From the beginning, Gianforte downplayed the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic. And even though he told Montanans to “stay the course” in public, Gianforte made hundreds of trades investing up to $4.5 million in companies set to profit from the pandemic. Gianforte also supports dismantling the Affordable Care Act and eliminating Medicaid expansion, a program which covers 112,000 Montanans and is one of the key reasons Montana hasn’t run out of hospital capacity during the pandemic.

In addition to Brown’s scathing op-ed, the GOP civil war has another wound that hasn’t healed yet – Gianforte’s primary opponent, Montana Attorney General Tim Fox, still hasn’t endorsed him for governor.

Every State, Every Vote: Kentucky Touted As National Model For Conducting Elections During Pandemic

Kentucky’s largely successful primary election is being touted as a national model for upcoming primary and general elections. Politico reports, “Kentucky earned measured praise from voting rights advocates for how it largely sidestepped the missing ballots, long lines and other problems faced by many states amid coronavirus.”

The election process was the result of a bipartisan agreement between Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear and Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams which allowed all Kentuckians to vote from home and ensured access to safe in-person polling locations.

Gov. Beshear emphasized the need to continue building on the state’s progress as it looks towards November. The governor voiced his support for early voting and no-excuse absentee voting saying that both should be “enshrined in Kentucky law” moving forward.  

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on NBC’s Meet the Press, discussing the importance of masking up at the Jersey Shore.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on CNN’s New Day, explaining how she revised her state’s reopening plan to avoid further COVID-19 spread.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on MSNBC with Chris Hayes, talking about the uptick in COVID-19 cases in the states surrounding Colorado, like Arizona and Texas.

Connecticut Gov. New Lamont on CNN’s Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto, celebrating Connecticut’s first day since March with zero COVID-19 fatalities and responding to President Trump’s threat to withhold federal aid unless governors reopen schools.

“We went through hell. We cannot afford to go through hell again.” ⁠

“Masks do not work.”

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

If you guessed GOP South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem last week, you were right! Even though several thousand people were expected at President Trump’s Independence Day celebration at Mount Rushmore, Noem told reporters “We will not be social distancing.”