The Weekender (7/8/22)


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

Let’s get started.

Georgia: As Stacey Abrams calls to suspend Georgia’s gas tax through the end of the year, Brian Kemp is still the only candidate for governor refusing to commit to not raising taxes. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Abrams launched “ads on more than 5,500 gas station pumps highlighting her call to suspend the state sales tax on fuel through the end of the year.Abrams’ plan would keep more money in Georgians’ pockets throughout the year. Meanwhile, Kemp has said the gas tax suspension “can only last for so long,” and his strategy of deciding whether or not to extend the suspension every few weeks leaves Georgia families wondering when the much-needed relief will run out.
Maine: Gov. Janet Mills this week signed an executive order to protect and expand access to abortion in Maine and protect reproductive health care providers and patients from investigations by other states seeking to prosecute. Gov. Mills has promised her veto pen “will stand in the way of any effort to undermine, rollback, or outright eliminate the right to safe and legal abortion in Maine.” And she’s delivered on that promise, signing a law allowing physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses to perform abortions and signing legislation requiring insurance providers to cover abortion care. But the future of abortion rights is on the ballot in Maine this November. Paul LePage is running on an extreme anti-choice platform, has said abortion is not a priority for him, has refused to rule out signing abortion restrictions into law, and his campaign won’t say whether he would rescind Gov. Mills’ order if elected.

This August 2nd, It’s Trump v. Ducey for Governor
The years-long political showdown between RGA Co-Chair Doug Ducey and Donald Trump has come to a head once again, this time in Ducey’s own state of Arizona, where he endorsed Karrin Taylor Robson against Trump’s candidate of choice, Kari Lake. This is just the latest in the “Ducey-Trump proxy battle” that has made Trump a thorn in the side of Ducey and the RGA. Trump has called Ducey an “unelectable RINO” and is reportedly trying to “personally spoil any of Ducey’s future political plans.” Even Trump’s pick, Lake, and Ducey himself have publicly feuded.Their dueling endorsements will be a spoiler in the GOP primary that’s already been riddled with nasty infighting and name-calling. In a completely unhinged debate last week, Taylor Robson and Lake spent the entire time insulting each other and promoting dangerous far-right policies.Arguing over who is more extreme on abortion, Taylor Robson called Lake “Fake Lake,” to which Lake said, “someone who calls names is not a grown-up.” Both candidates have also embraced the Big Lie and other MAGA policies. The primary field is so bad that the RGA put out an ad praising Ducey, who’s not even up for reelection, rather than any candidate in the field.

In the Wake of SCOTUS Overturning Roe v. Wade, DGA Launches “Protect Reproductive Rights Fund” Chaired by Gov. Kathy Hochul
As the reversal of Roe v. Wade puts the fate of reproductive health care access in the hands of governors, the DGA launched a new fund dedicated to investing in governor’s races in 2022 where abortion access is most at risk.Chaired by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, the Protect Reproductive Rights Fund is a zero-overfund fund that allows donors to focus their money on the most critical races to protect abortion access.The target states are AZ, FL, GA, KS, MI, OH, PA, TX, and WI — states either with GOP legislatures who have passed anti-choice legislation recently blocked by a Democratic governor or states listed by the Guttmacher Institute as “certain or likely to ban abortion.” Every dollar donated to the Protect Reproductive Rights Fund goes straight to supporting incumbent Democratic governors and electing Democratic candidates for governor in one or more of those states.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on MSNBC with Joy Reid sharing how she’s protecting abortion and ensuring women who travel from other states will have safe access.Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on CNBC with Scott Cohn discussing abortion and the incentives and resources her administration has pushed to grow the auto industry in Michigan.New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on CNN with Brianna Keilar talking about signing a bill to protect reproductive freedom and his actions to prevent gun violence.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont on CNBC with Joe Kernen stressing the importance of preserving a woman’s right to choose and the actions he’s taking to create jobs.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on MSNBC with Stephanie Ruhle talking about his actions to protect reproductive rights.

Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial nominee Josh Shapiro on MSNBC with Lawrence O’Donnell discussing the importance of electing him to preserve democracy for Pennsylvanians.

“There are going to be people who say that today is not the day, that now is not the time to talk about guns. I’m telling you, there is no better time than right here and right now. It’s the Fourth of July, a day for reflection on our freedoms. Our founders carried muskets, not assault weapons. And I don’t think a single one of them would have said that you have a constitutional right to an assault weapon with a high capacity magazine or that that is more important than the right of the people who attended this parade today to live.”

  • Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker on the tragic Fourth of July parade shooting in Highland Park.

“He lost the election, and he shouldn’t be in the White House.”Who said it? Send your answer to, and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!If you guessed Independent candidate for Oregon governor, Betsy Johnson, in last week’s edition, nice job! During an interview with the New York Times, Johnson referred to Portland as “the city of roaches.”