Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 22-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, LGBTQ+ people, the state budget, the economy and more. She previously 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 90 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 5,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 80 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two kids along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.

Will false Trump electors’ attempt to hijack the Michigan vote be punished?

By: , and - January 18, 2022

Attorney General Dana Nessel says her office had referred the investigation into the fraudulent 2020 Electoral College certificate submitted by state Republicans to federal prosecutors.  During a Thursday appearance on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” the Democrat said her office had referred the case to the U.S. attorney’s office for the Western District of Michigan, […]

Why U of M fired President Mark Schlissel on Saturday night

By: - January 16, 2022

The University of Michigan Board of Regents on Saturday night made a surprise announcement that it had fired President Mark Schlissel and replaced him in the interim with former President Mary Sue Coleman, noting in a statement that it had “full confidence that she will provide the leadership our University community needs during this critical […]

Bridge funding in infrastructure law on the way to states

By: and - January 14, 2022

The federal government will begin releasing more than $5 billion for distressed bridges in the first year of funding under the recent infrastructure law, President Joe Biden said in a Friday video message. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that the state of Michigan is expected to receive $563.1 million over five years to build, repair or replace bridges. […]

They may disagree on abortion, but this political odd couple agrees on preserving democracy

By: - January 11, 2022

On Dec. 22, an email went out from Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel’s campaign that surprised at least some Michigan politicos. The fundraising pitch for the state’s most powerful progressive official was from former Michigan Republican Party Executive Director Jeff Timmer, who told supporters, “We could quibble and quarrel about policy differences between candidates in […]

AG Dana Nessel’s 2nd COVID test comes back negative

By: - January 10, 2022

Attorney General Dana Nessel has tested negative for COVID-19 for a second time, her office confirmed to the Advance Monday afternoon. The attorney general was quarantining while awaiting the results of the PCR test that came back Monday. She tested negative last week, but was experiencing symptoms. The omicron variant has been sweeping through Michigan […]

Whitmer’s State of the State address will be virtual on Jan. 26

By: - January 10, 2022

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and state House Speaker Jason Wentworth (R-Clare) announced Monday morning that the 2022 State of the State address again will be virtual and broadcast live on Jan. 26.  “The State of the State address is a tradition rooted in history. It is an opportunity for Michiganders to hear about the work of […]


Susan J. Demas: The kids are not all right. Denying omicron’s impacts won’t make it better.

By: - January 10, 2022

Less than an hour after my youngest left for high school Friday, I got the text. Less than a third of the kids in his class were there for first period. There was another substitute. And there were 10 more reported COVID cases in the school (on top of many more earlier that week). He’s […]


Susan J. Demas: If the Jan. 6 coup succeeded, what would Michigan Republicans have done?

By: - January 6, 2022

Today is the most inauspicious of anniversaries, as we came closer to losing our democracy on Jan. 6, 2021, than anyone ever dared to imagine at the time. As a European history major who’s spent time studying coups, along with more than two decades of reporting on an increasingly fragile democratic system at home, it […]

Rep. Slagh missed 62 votes last year due to previously undisclosed COVID diagnosis

By: and - January 5, 2022

State Rep. Bradley Slagh (R-Zeeland) announced Tuesday that his absence from 62 votes at the end of 2021 can be attributed to contracting COVID-19. The announcement comes after the Missed Votes Report released by the free-market Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s highlighted those missed votes.  The report showed that Slagh missed all votes that […]

First gentleman has COVID-19, Whitmer tests negative but is isolating

By: and - January 5, 2022

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is isolating herself after first gentleman Marc Mallory tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday and is experiencing symptoms. Whitmer tested negative in a rapid test, but is awaiting results of a subsequent PCR test. “Like so many families around the country, the governor and her husband took extra precautions to limit contact […]

Would Whitmer have run for governor in 2018 if she knew COVID and an assassination plot lay ahead?

By: - January 3, 2022

As the last two tumultuous years of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s term came to a close, she talked with the Advance about bipartisan business incentives, the future of Roe v. Wade, the 2022 election and more. But first, the Advance asked the Democratic governor if she knew what she knows now about a global pandemic, the […]

Whitmer backs Oakland University’s January virtual learning plan amid omicron

By: - December 22, 2021

After schools fought to have in-person learning for the 2021-22 school year, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Oakland University this week joined colleges like Harvard and Stanford in announcing that classes will begin virtually next month due to the fast-spreading omicron variant. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told the Michigan Advance in a phone interview Wednesday that […]