The Weekender (9/9/22)


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

Let’s get started.

Kansas: This week, former Kansas Republican Gov. Bill Graves announced he’s once again endorsing Gov. Laura Kelly for reelection. Graves picked Gov. Kelly over Derek Schmidt, despite the fact that Schmidt used to work for Graves in his office. Gov. Kelly continues to generate support from Kansans regardless of political affiliation. Graves’ endorsement adds to a coalition of over 160 other Kansas Republicans who have endorsed Gov. Kelly for reelection, and last month, a bipartisan group of 50 farmers and ranchers from every corner of Kansas announced they’re endorsing Gov. Kelly for governor. While Gov. Kelly attracts support from Democrats, Republicans, and independents, Schmidt can’t even unite his own party. His problems with Republicans are so bad that GOP state senator Dennis Pyle is running against him as an independent.
New York: New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s campaign kicked off the general election with a massive statewide TV and digital ad campaign highlighting Gov. Hochul’s nation-leading efforts to strengthen New York’s gun safety laws and slamming Lee Zeldin’s extremist record. One of the several initial TV ads airing across the state, “The Day,” exposes Lee Zeldin’s far-right record, from voting to overturn the 2020 election results to supporting far-right abortion bans without exceptions for rape, incest, or the life of the mother.. Another new TV ad, “Kid,” features a survivor of the tragic shooting at Tops supermarket in Buffalo and his mother. The ad emphasizes Gov. Hochul’s leading response to protect New Yorkers against gun violence. The initial two million dollar media buy features both digital and bilingual television ads.

ICYMI: Maryland Senate GOP Leader Won’t Endorse Dan Cox for Governor
In yet another blow to Dan Cox’s flailing far-right campaign for governor, Maryland’s Senate GOP leader announced this week that he won’t endorse Cox.Bryan Simonaire admitted Cox is a losing candidate when he endorsed Cox’s opponent in the GOP primary, saying, “There’s only one Republican candidate who can win statewide, and that is Kelly Schulz.” Republican Gov. Larry Hogan has also refused to endorse Cox, who he said is “not, in my opinion, mentally stable.”Since winning the divisive primary, Cox has doubled down on his extreme MAGA agenda. He’s pledged to weaponize the National Guard against the federal government and got a shoutout from Donald Trump as he railed against Hogan last weekend.

“And this is my fault — I’m sorry, Dan — Larry Hogan is not going to be supporting you only because I am supporting you,” Trump said.

DGA Launches Ads In Local Newspapers Doug Mastriano Dodged
As Doug Mastriano is still dodging press on his “No Comment Express” tour, the DGA has been running ads in local newspapers across Pennsylvania where Mastriano has refused to answer questions about his dangerous record.“The Democratic Governors Association (DGA) has decided to comment where none is forthcoming from Republican candidate for governor in Pennsylvania, Doug Mastriano,” PoliticsPA reported.The ads ran in various outlets, including the Sharon Herald, Erie Times-News, and Meadville Tribune. Each ad included a direct quote from the newspaper it ran in showcasing how Mastriano hid from its reporters.

Throughout his “No Comment Express” tour, Mastriano has consistently refused to answer questions — and even resorted to “physically block[ing]” and literally running away from reporters across the state. Meanwhile, Mastriano has spent more time appealing to the far-right fringe on Steve Bannon’s War Room, a QAnon branded podcast, and other extreme right-wing outlets in front of violent extremists, antisemites, and white supremacists like Gab’s CEO Andrew Torba.

As the ads detail, Pennsylvanians deserve answers from Mastriano on important questions, including:

  • Doug Mastriano has said banning abortion is his “number one issue,” and he wants to outlaw it with no exceptions for rape, incest, or the life of the mother. Will an abortion ban be his first bill as governor?


  • Why did Doug Mastriano decide to pay Gab — a “haven” for white supremacists — thousands of dollars to recruit their extremist followers to join his campaign?


New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Bloomberg with David Westin and Fox News with Mike Emanuel discussing the start of the school year and how he’s supporting teachers and students.Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on Bloomberg with David Westin discussing the state’s economic recovery and preserving the electoral process.

“We have work to do, but the choice in this election could not be more clear. It’s a choice between partisanship and progress, between dividing people and delivering for people.”

  • Massachusetts Democratic gubernatorial nominee for Maura Healey in her victory speech after Tuesday’s primary.

“Be ready to get out on the streets with pitchforks and torches.”Who said it? Send your answer to, and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!If you guessed Minnesota GOP nominee Scott Jensen last week, you’re correct. Last week, when addressing his comments comparing COVID public health policies to the rise of Nazi Germany, he tripled down, calling it “a legitimate comparison” and saying he has “no regrets.”