The Weekender (4/2/21)


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

Let’s get started.

Virginia: The dumpster fire that is the VA GOP nomination fight continues to grow more chaotic as the convention nears. Twice this week, frontrunner Amanda Chase called the convention “rigged” and threatened to run as an independent. During an interview on Tuesday, Chase accused Pete Snyder’s campaign of rigging the convention and said, “If Pete Snyder is chosen as the nominee, I will probably run as an independent” and then responded “absolutely” when the host clarified that she’d run as an independent should Snyder win the nomination. She added, “They [RPV] are fumbling the ball.”

These aren’t just empty threats – Chase has announced she’s already collected enough signatures to get on the ballot as an independent. An independent run from Chase would set up a nasty fight for the Trump base from now until November – something sure to doom Republicans’ prospects of winning statewide in 2021.

Illinois: Trump donor Gary Rabine announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for governor of Illinois, ensuring the GOP primary will be an all-out brawl to fight for the most conservative voters. Rabine still refuses to say whether Joe Biden is the legitimately elected president and is a board member of Turning Point USA – a far-right group known for using racist language about the pandemic and for being a ‘coalition partner’ at the rally that led to the January 6th insurrection.

Third Nonpartisan Race Rater Predicts GOP In Danger of Losing Maryland Governorship in 2022

As GOP Gov. Larry Hogan’s approval ratings take a plunge and yet another nonpartisan election analyst rates the seat as vulnerable, Republicans’ chances of holding onto the governorship in Maryland in 2022 look bleaker every day.

This week, FiveThirtyEight rated the Maryland governor’s race as “Toss Up/Lean D” – the third race rater to rank the seat as vulnerable in 2022. Cook Political Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball have ranked Maryland as the state most in danger of flipping parties next year.

FiveThirtyEight said Maryland will be “particularly challenging” for the GOP to keep red next year. Gov. Hogan has angered many Trump activists with his criticism of the Trump administration, and his approval rating has dropped 14 points. Enhancing Democrats’ chances of winning in Maryland is the fractured state of the Maryland GOP, especially as GOP primaries in nearby states like Virginia are races to the far-right about Trumpism.

Rep. Andy Harris, the de facto head of the Maryland GOP, is suspected of eyeing a gubernatorial run in 2022. Harris has been a committed ally to Trump’s dangerous agenda, standing by him even after Trump-inspired rioters attacked the Capitol and killed a police officer. Harris voted in favor of challenging the election results following the insurrection, and he also recently voted against the American Rescue Plan, which was supported by 70% of Americans.

A run by a Trump acolyte like Harris could seal Republicans’ fate in 2022. Joe Biden carried Maryland by more than 30 points, and more Marylanders favored Joe Biden over Donald Trump in the 2020 election than they favored Clinton over Trump in 2016.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy Expands Voting Rights As GOP Govs Restrict Them

Within days of Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp significantly rolling back voting rights, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is doing the opposite. Gov. Murphy signed into law an expansion of voting rights, including increasing access to ballot drop boxes and extending early voting periods.

Gov. Murphy said: “While states across our nation turn back the clock to Jim Crow-era voter suppression laws, New Jersey will expand access to the ballot box.”

After losing both the White House and the Senate in 2020, Republicans are waging a war on our democracy to roll back voting access – they have introduced over 361 bills in 47 states with the goal of challenging Americans’  constitutional right to cast a ballot in a free and fair election. Experts estimate their proposals could create hurdles for tens of millions of Americans.

Republicans in other states are following Kemp’s lead – in Arizona, legislators are attempting to ram through 19 bills aimed at limiting voting rights, and in Wisconsin, a proposed bill would end the practice of giving all electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the statewide vote and instead award electoral votes based on Congressional districts, which are gerrymandered in favor of Republicans. In Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds just signed a bill shortening early and Election Day voting and making it harder to return an absentee ballot.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on CNN’s New Day, responding to MI GOP Chair Ron Weiser calling Gov. Whitmer and other female statewide elected officials “witches.”

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on MSNBC’s The ReidOut, explaining how Republicans’ claims of widespread voter fraud are completely false: “The chances of getting hit by lightning … are higher than uncovering voter fraud.”

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam on CNN’s New Day, discussing his approval of Virginia’s Voting Rights Act, which aims to improve access to the ballot box.

“What is happening to Asian Americans is simply un-American. We condemn racism, violence, and hatred against our AAPI communities, and we must do more to protect, lift up, and support the Asian American community.”

  • All 24 Democratic governors in a letter released in solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Islander community condemning racism, hate, and violence.

 “Ur a whole governor and u on here tweeting about some damn shoes. do ur job!”

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

If you guessed VA GOP gubernatorial candidate Pete Snyder last week, you were right! While speaking to a crowd last week Snyder vowed to “beat up the Democrats, make them black and blue.”