The Weekender (7/17/20)


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

Let’s get started.

Missouri: Following a poll showing GOP Gov. Mike Parson and Democratic candidate Nicole Galloway in a dead heat, Sabato’s Crystal Ball shifted the Missouri governor’s race to be more competitive. Last week, U.S. News & World Report also ranked the Missouri governor’s race as more competitive, attributing the shift to Parson’s “middling support among independents” and Galloway’s impressive credentials and “strong fundraising quarters.” The Cook Political Report and Inside Elections moved the Missouri gubernatorial race to be more competitive back in April.

North Carolina: Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper released the first two television ads of his reelection campaign. The first ad focuses on Gov. Cooper’s commitment to public health and safety and reminds North Carolinians that his “priority is protecting lives.” The second ad makes the case that Lt. Gov. Dan Forest is “dangerously wrong” for governor. Forest has been spreading disinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic to North Carolinians – downplaying the impact of the virus on young people and claiming “masks don’t work with viruses.”

Do As I Say, Not As I Do: Mike Parson Tells Missourians to Mask Up Then Refuses to Wear Mask At Crowded Campaign Event

For Gov. Mike Parson, even following his own public health recommendations is a challenge. While he encouraged Missourians to social distance and wear a mask on Twitter, Parson couldn’t be bothered with wearing one at a crowded event with many older guests.

It seems that for all his preaching about “personal responsibility,” it does not apply to him. As the situation in Missouri becomes more dire, experts say this undermines the state’s ability to control the pandemic.

This isn’t the first time Parson has put his pride and vanity above public health. In May, Parson toured businesses in Southwest Missouri and refused to mask up, saying “I chose not to”, bucking advice from the Centers for Disease Control to wear a face covering.

Mike Cooney Announces Sweeping Public Lands Plan As Greg Gianforte’s Anti-Public Lands Record Comes Under Fire

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney released a sweeping plan to protect access to public lands in Montana. Lt. Gov. Cooney is running against New Jersey millionaire Greg Gianforte – one of the most anti-public lands candidates in Montana history.

As Montana’s sole Congressman, Gianforte has repeatedly undermined public lands stewardship. Gianforte is still refusing to cosponsor the Great American Outdoors Act, which would increase funding for public lands and make funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund permanent. He also introduced two bills that would “strip protections from cherished public lands” and sued the state of Montana to block access to a stream nearby one of his multiple private properties.

Lt. Gov. Cooney’s “Protect the Last Best Place” plan would solidify protections for Montana’s existing public lands, increase access to landlocked public lands through easements, strengthen Habitat Montana, the state’s premier access and conservation program, and protect public streams from people like Greg Gianforte.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on MSNBC with Andrea Mitchell, describing the success of mask requirements in his state and encouraging the White House to promote mask wearing at the national level.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, discussing his concerns about rising COVID-19 counts in states that rushed to reopen. Gov. Cuomo also shared some personal news.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360°, explaining why our nation’s leaders need to be “banding together” rather than politicizing public health when “lives are on the line.”

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on CNBC’s Closing Bell, discussing his state’s preparations for a possible second wave in the fall and why he’s proceeding with caution on reopening.

“We’ve come a long way here in Colorado since our days as the Hate State. We really went from a place where discrimination was legalized in the 1990s to where we are today, where Colorado is a leader.”

“If I feel like I get anything on me we try to clean it up as soon as possible.”

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

If you guessed GOP gubernatorial candidate Dan Forest last week, you were right! At a campaign event on July 4th, Forest told a reporter “masks do not work with viruses.” In reality, public health experts project widespread use of facemasks could save tens of thousands of lives.