Susan J. Demas is a 21-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 4,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 70 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.
Susan J. Demas: The anti-abortion movement’s extremism can no longer be whitewashed
By: Susan J. Demas - May 16, 2022
After years of seeing gauzy anti-abortion ads cajoling women of color not to “kill” their Black and Brown babies, last week may have been a bit of a jolt. Amid a baby formula shortage (thanks to a heavily monopolized industry), Republicans quickly adopted the talking point that the Biden administration should withhold formula from migrant […]
Susan J. Demas: Turning on those who have saved lives and made the pandemic a little less awful
By: Susan J. Demas - May 9, 2022
There’s really no more apt embodiment of the deadly, gleeful ignorance that’s marked the pandemic than obnoxious, honking anti-vaxxers showing up to protest Dr. Anthony Fauci’s commencement for 2020 University of Michigan graduates who had their lives turned upside down. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had an erudite […]
Susan J. Demas: The far-right’s repulsive ‘groomer’ attack is a clarion call for violence
By: Susan J. Demas - April 26, 2022
Earlier this month, Sen. Lana Theis (R-Brighton) used her invocation on the Senate dais to launch a political tirade that children are “under attack” from “forces that desire things for them other than what their parents would have them see and hear and know.” That prompted walkouts from some Democratic senators, so Theis saw an […]
The Michigan candidate filing deadline has passed. Here are the 2022 races to watch.
By: Andrew Roth and Susan J. Demas - April 20, 2022
Updated, 10:44 a.m., 4/21/22 Several Republican candidates for governor descended on the Richard H. Austin Building in Lansing Tuesday to drop off petition signatures necessary to make it onto the August ballot before the deadline to do so. Ten Republicans who hope to face Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in November filed signatures with the Bureau […]
Susan J. Demas: Nothing radical about Whitmer fighting the GOP’s anti-abortion extremism
By: Susan J. Demas - April 19, 2022
Ten years ago, I was having a beer with a Michigan GOP consultant who informed me that liberals should stop all the fear-mongering because Republicans would never be dumb enough to outlaw abortion. “If they did that, they’d lose the next election by 20 points,” he declared. It was a simpler time during the 2012 […]
Susan J. Demas: Republicans said KBJ was soft on pedophiles. But they have a Michigan problem.
By: Susan J. Demas - April 11, 2022
If you sat through the excruciating Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Ketanji Brown Jackson, it was clear just how exceptional the first Black female justice in history had to be just to get there. Just compare Jackson’s composure and legal analysis in hearings to Brett Kavanagh, who was credibly accused of sexual assault (which naturally […]
Susan J. Demas: How many LGBTQ+ kids’ lives are worth Republicans winning the 2022 election?
By: Susan J. Demas - April 4, 2022
On June 26, 2015, my family watched the U.S. Supreme Court hand down the Obergefell v. Hodges decision legalizing same-sex marriage, and I may have cried. Neither of my kids were out at the time and didn’t think it was a particularly big deal — why wouldn’t you be allowed to marry who you love? […]
Susan J. Demas: Oh, noes. The Michigan GOP tax cut you’d never have noticed just died.
By: Susan J. Demas - March 28, 2022
If you make more than $539,000 a year, well, first of all, congratulations. You can live quite well on that in a state like Michigan (USA Today recently ranked us third-best for affordability in the country). You also just missed out on an election-year GOP state tax cut averaging $4,900, which Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer […]
Susan J. Demas: Journalism is a public service. The Advance is honored to tell Michigan’s stories.
By: Susan J. Demas - March 19, 2022
As a parent, you’re forever worrying that you’re not doing things right and your kids will pay the price (especially if you happen to be a chronic overthinker). It’s not dissimilar to how I’ve felt running two publications, first revamping Inside Michigan Politics and bringing it into the 21st century and then building the Michigan […]
Anti-trans litter box rumor is ‘harming our LGBTQ+ kids,’ advocates say
By: Susan J. Demas - February 19, 2022
After a rumor that students who “identify as cats” were using litter boxes was sparked at a Midland Public Schools school board meeting in December, LGBTQ+ advocates across the state are concerned about how this will affect transgender youth. At a Dec. 20 meeting, Midland resident Lisa Kawiecki Hansen said she heard from students that […]
New: Whitmer budget plan hikes higher ed by 5%, also boosts nursing home worker pay
By: Susan J. Demas - February 8, 2022
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s new budget plan will include a 5% funding hike for Michigan’s 15 public universities and 28 community colleges — the highest increase in decades. Universities would have to cap tuition increases. She also will propose that all nursing home workers stretched thin during the COVID-19 pandemic will receive a $2.35 per hour […]
Gilda Jacobs, trailblazing legislative leader, talks loss during COVID and attacks on democracy
By: Susan J. Demas - February 7, 2022
After spending four decades in public office, including leadership roles as a Democrat in the Michigan Legislature, Gilda Jacobs’ second act was helming one of the best-known economic justice groups in the state. Building on her longstanding relationships, she was always there to make the case to lawmakers that Michigan can’t move forward without equity […]