The Weekender (8/19/22)


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

Let’s get started.

Wisconsin: This week, Alliance for Common Sense launched a series of digital ads criticizing GOP nominee Tim Michels for his radical position on guns. At a time when gun violence plagues communities and puts Wisconsin children at risk, the ads expose Michels for promising to enact legislation that would allow guns on elementary school grounds in Wisconsin. Watch the 15-second ad, “Too Radical,” here. Watch the 6-second ad, “Guns to School,” here.
Kansas: A bipartisan group of 50 farmers and ranchers from every corner of Kansas announced they’re endorsing Gov. Laura Kelly for governor. One of the endorsers, Bernard Thompkins, a farmer in Sedgwick County, said he’s choosing Gov. Kelly because of her “priorities that match ours…In the farming community – good roads, good bridges, good education … those things are really important for economic development.” Thompkins continued, “I find her tone to be very civil and unifying, as opposed to being divisive. And I like that …To me, she seems like a really strong leader.” Another Kansas farmer, Rhonda Loehr, told KAKE: “There was a great shortage in the public education system…I feel like she straightened that out.” Gov. Kelly has worked across the aisle to balance the budget, fully fund public schools, restore funding for infrastructure projects, axe the food tax and cut $1 billion in taxes, including a tax cut for agriculture.  As a result, Kansas has shattered records for new business investments and landed major economic development opportunities.

Paul LePage Threatens to “Deck” Dem Staffer, Failing Again to Rebrand Himself After Long Record of Violent Outbursts
Despite Paul LePage’s desperate attempts to rebrand himself, LePage threatened to “deck” a Democratic staffer at a campaign event last weekend, according to the Daily Beast — proving he’s never changed.“Six feet away, or I’m going to deck you,” LePage said. “If you come into my space, you’re going down.”

This is just the latest failure in LePage’s attempt to rebrand himself in his run for governor after gaining notoriety for his aggressive outbursts, including threatening to blow up the Portland Press Herald office and challenging a Democratic lawmaker to a duel.

“For the man once dubbed ‘America’s craziest governor,’” the Daily Beast reported, “old habits die hard.”

DeSantis Travels Country to Campaign for Radical Election Deniers
While Floridians are feeling the heat from some of the highest housing and health care costs in the country, Ron DeSantis is spending his time campaigning across the country alongside some of the biggest election denialists running for office.New reporting from Politico highlights how DeSantis “won’t say if 2020 was rigged” but is trying to “help candidates who have openly questioned President Joe Biden’s win,” — including GOP candidates for governor in Arizona, Pennsylvania, and New Mexico.

While DeSantis “doesn’t like to talk about it,” the candidates he’s actively promoting have based their campaigns – like many other GOP candidates across the country – on touting conspiracy theories and undermining democracy:


  • Doug Mastriano led the effort to try to overturn the 2020 election in Pennsylvania, paying thousands to bus people – including at least one person who was arrested – to the Capitol on January 6th and bringing Rudy Guliani to testify in the PA State Senate. Mastriano has also said as governor, he could decertify “every [voting] machine in the state with a stroke of a pen.”


  • Kari Lake has made disproven conspiracies about election fraud the centerpiece of her campaign. Lake also openly stated that President Biden “lost the election and shouldn’t be in the White House.”


  • Mark Ronchetti was just caught accepting campaign donations from one of New Mexico’s fake electors who plotted to overturn the election. Ronchetti also refused to denounce extremist groups like the Proud Boys, The Oathkeepers, and the 3 Percenters. Instead, he agreed that the groups are unfairly criticized.

Arizona Democratic gubernatorial nominee Katie Hobbs on MSNBC with Joy Reid talking about the importance of the Arizona governor’s race to preserving election integrity.

“I’m not here to tell you only what my ideal is. I’m here to get something done.”

“He’s got BDE. I call it Big DeSantis Energy. He’s got the same kind of BDE President Trump has.”Who said it? Send your answer to, and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!

If you guessed GOP candidate for Illinois governor Geoff Diehl last week, you were correct! In a live radio interview, Diehl said the 2020 election was “definitely was an election that was stolen from Trump” and that the FBI was “trying to rig the future election” after the raid on Mar-a-Lago.