The Weekender (7/9/21)


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

Let’s get started.

Virginia:In a video first aired on MSNBC’s The ReidOut with Joy Reid last night, GOP candidate Glenn Youngkin was caught promising to go “on offense” to defund Planned Parenthood and ban abortions if elected governor but revealed he’s purposefully hiding those views from voters to get elected. Youngkin spent the Virginia GOP primary pandering to Trump’s base, and now he’s caught in a sticky situation — privately leaning into his extreme plans to bring Trump’s agenda to Virginia while desperately trying to appease Independent voters in public. Youngkin knows his beliefs are completely out of step with most Virginians, which explains why his website still doesn’t have an issues page and he has only accepted one and is still dodging additional debate invitations (as highlighted in new billboards from the DGA throughout Richmond) weeks after McAuliffe accepted all five. Youngkin’s extreme anti-choice views are leading to major national coverage from MSNBC, Washington Post, HuffPost, and more. This video is further proof that his campaign messaging of being a truth-telling outsider was always a myth.

New Jersey: The priorities of Gov. Phil Murphy and GOP opponent Jack Ciattarelli could not be more different. Gov. Phil Murphy has demonstrated that his priority is the people, while Ciattarelli sees everything as a political game. This week, Murphy signed legislation offering $100 million towards child care from federal funds. He has provided health care for every child by expanding Medicaid to undocumented children. Beyond child care and health care, Murphy is looking out for the economic needs of New Jerseyans by providing rebate checks to households earning up to $150,000 or individuals earning below $75,000. Ciattarelli brushed off Murphy’s leadership as a political move, but Ciatterelli himself is stuck promoting Trump’s unpopular policies of restricting voting access, rolling back women’s reproductive rights, and slashing funding for public education.

Greg Abbott Struggles to Fend off Primary Challengers as GOP Competition for His Job Grows

As Texas Gov. Greg Abbott grapples with the reality of an increasingly messy and chaotic primary, he’s continuing to prove to be a massive failure for the state and his party. In addition to several GOP candidates who have set their sights on challenging him, the competition now includes former congressman and Texas GOP chairman Allen West, who resigned from his position in state party leadership to run for governor.Other candidates in the race include former state Sen. Don Huffines, who declared his candidacy calling Abbott a “political windsock” and promised to put an end to the “excuses and lies” that have characterized his time as governor. Huffines released a statement welcoming West to the race to show that “Texans can do better than Greg Abbott.” We couldn’t agree more. Abbott’s played political games with massive crises and has doubled down on his far-right positions. In response, his support is waning, and Texans seem eager to support literally anyone else.

Gov. Polis signs bills taking action of health care, criminal justice, and climateColorado Gov. Jared Polis is on a roll. In the last few days alone, Polis signed dozens of bills into law and tackled three major Democratic priorities.On climate, Polis signed the Democrats’ climate compromise focused on environmental justice. The law sets up emissions endorsement and creates a state ombudsperson and an advisory board. Polis also took action on criminal justice reform, signing a wave of bills that includes measures to reduce burdensome court fees. Polis also signed a ketamine measure directly in response to the police killing of Elijah McClain.

Additionally, Polis approved more than a dozen pieces of legislation spanning the broad spectrum of health care. Tuesday’s bill signings came after the Colorado session’s landmark piece of health care policy, the Colorado Option proposal. Polis’s signature now adds health care measures ranging from lowering insulin costs to cross-training health care professionals to broaden their expertise. Gov. Polis is taking real, bold steps to improve Coloradans’ lives.

Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero on MSNBC with Rachel Maddow saying Guam is ready to serve as a safe-and-secure route for the humanitarian effort of bringing veterans back from Afghanistan.Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Face the Nation with Ed O’Keefe addressing the seriousness of climate change.

President Biden on MSNBC with Katy Tur praising Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker for his leadership on early childhood education.

“Healthcare is a human right. Here in Illinois, we won’t stop until everyone can access all aspects of it.”

– Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker on signing bipartisan legislation to increase accessibility and affordability for healthcare through the expansion of Medicaid

“If there’s nothing wrong, and nothing happened, and it’s baseless, then why not have an audit?”

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

If you guessed Maryland Delegate and GOP candidate for governor Dan Cox last week, bingo! Cox called former Vice President Mike Pence a traitor during the insurrection on January 6th. Cox is an active and vocal supporter of President Donald Trump and has previously been known to use the hashtag #WWG1WGA, a rallying cry used by QAnon conspiracy theorists.