The Weekender (9/11/20)


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

Before we begin, we would like to pay tribute to all those who lost their lives on September 11th, 2001. Today, we honor them and the first responders who put themselves in harm’s way to save so many more lives.

Let’s get started.

New Hampshire: Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes captured the Democratic nomination for governor on Tuesday. Feltes has the experience to lead New Hampshire as governor through a COVID-19 relief and recovery that works for every Granite Stater, not just the wealthy few. Gov. Chris Sununu is officially the Republican candidate for governor. Sununu has stood by Donald Trump while he attacked Granite Staters’ health care, voting rights, access to reproductive health care, and common decency. It’s no wonder Sununu prioritizes his loyalty to Trump over all else – the two have so much in common. See if you can tell Trump and Sununu apart by taking the DGA’s new quiz here.

Montana: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney launched a groovy new ad this week, featuring Cooney playing the drums and introducing himself to Montana voters as a dedicated public servant. Cooney appears to be hitting all the right notes – a poll released at the end of August shows the Montana governor’s race in a statistical tie. And by a double-digit margin, Montanans said they trust Cooney to protect their public lands over Republican candidate Greg Gianforte and believe Cooney will do a better job at working across the aisle.

Fact Check: Uniting Missouri Ad Labeled False And Misleading

Mike Parson’s allies are spreading lies in their desperate attempt to beat Nicole Galloway. Uniting Missouri, the PAC behind Parson’ reelection bid, released a new attack ad riddled with falsehoods, Missouri station KMOV’s fact-check finds. In fact, KMOV found that nearly every claim in the ad was either false or misleading. 

The ad proclaims Parson called a special session to address violent crime in Missouri, but Parson did not call a special session last year when the number of homicides in St. Louis rose to the second-highest they’ve been in a decade. While the ad tries to paint Nicole Galloway as emboldening radicals by using footage of protests, it uses footage that doesn’t come from Missouri, and Galloway has released statements condemning violence.

The ad also brings up campaign fundraising, claiming Galloway’s campaign has been funded by extremists. This is not true – KMOV found Galloway had no connection to extremist groups, and a large number of her donations were from grassroots, small dollar donors. Galloway outraised Parson last quarter and over the last month – so the Parson camp’s latest, dishonest ad must be the result of fear and desperation.

Parson’s allies are likely trying to distract from Parson’s poor record on COVID-19 and failure to help hard working families during the pandemic. It doesn’t appear to be working – Parson’s approval ratings have been abysmal and a poll from July shows the governor’s race in a statistical tie.

“I was raised better”: Ben Salango Launches Campaign Ad Hitting Jim Justice for Betraying West Virginians

West Virginia Democratic candidate Ben Salango launched a new campaign ad, “Raised Better.” The ad showcases the vast differences between the two candidates – while Gov. Jim Justice has used his time as governor to enrich himself and give tax breaks to his family’s business empire, Salango grew up in a working class family and worked hard to build a business from the ground up.

Justice has a history of betraying hard working West Virginia families. Justice has been sued over 600 times for not paying his bills, and he made a backroom deal using his position as governor to give his company tax breaks. His business empire has also been accused of a shocking pattern of corruption which includes denying health insurance to hard-working coal miners and failing to pay mine safety penalties. 

Ben Salango was raised better than that – he’ll fight for everyday West Virginians, not just himself.

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo on CNBC’s Mad Money, discussing her innovative Back to Work RI plan – which aims to help reduce unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic and guarantees trainees a job at the end of the program.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, explaining why President Trump’s rallies are a threat to public health and talking about the importance of federal aid for states in the next stimulus package. She says the aid “would go a long ways towards protecting our economy and protecting the health of our people.”

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont on CNN with Wolf Blitzer, talking about how he’s managed to keep the state’s infection rate at less than one percent for three months, and how he’s handling a cyberattack on the state’s school system.

“It’s inconceivable to me that we wouldn’t have been able to save lives as a result of that.”

  • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy responding to President Trump’s intentional downplaying of the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Murphy said if the federal government had been honest with governors about the virus, more lives could have been saved.

“Our people are happy. We’ve had big events.”

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

If you guessed Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves last week, you were right! When asked why he calls COVID-19 the “China virus,” Reeves said the coronavirus “escaped” from a lab in China, promoting a widely debunked conspiracy theory. He later took to Twitter to double down on his racist rhetoric.