Susan J. Demas

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.

Whitmer gets kudos from key Republican on environmental shakeup

By: - February 6, 2019

There’s been some Republican grumbling about Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s move on Monday to restructure the beleaguered Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), but a key GOP official has her back. Candice Miller, a former congresswoman who now oversees environmental and water issues for Macomb County as public works commissioner, praised Whitmer for her new Department of Environment, […]

McCormack: No ‘witchcraft’ in winning over GOP colleagues on High Court

By: - February 6, 2019

It’s not easy for a Democrat to win enough votes on a GOP-dominated Supreme Court to become chief justice, but that’s exactly what Bridget McCormack did last month. And the vote was unanimous. The court is currently split 4-3 in favor of Republicans. But the once-fractured and highly partisan court has been a more collegial […]

Gerrymandering suit heads to trial after U.S. Supreme Court nixes delay

By: - February 5, 2019

Proceedings on a federal case challenging how Michigan’s legislative districts are drawn are slated to begin on Tuesday morning in Detroit after Republicans’ last-ditch appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was rejected. GOP attorneys had argued that the case would be rendered irrelevant because the High Court is set to rule on similar redistricting cases […]

Benson skips MDP convention for SOS conference

By: - February 4, 2019

While Democrats gathered on Saturday in Detroit to pick new leadership and look ahead to the 2020 election, a key member of the state’s new executive team wasn’t there. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, who was elected as part of the 2018 blue wave, was at the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) 2019 […]


Susan J. Demas: GOP’s 2018 pork-laden spending spree wounds Whitmer’s plans

By: - February 4, 2019

Can we just end the myth of fiscally responsible Republicans once and for all? It’s bad enough that in 2017, President Trump and his GOP Congress passed a budget-busting tax giveaway to the rich, which has left us with a national debt of $21 trillion and counting. And the federal deficit is projected to approach […]

Attorney General Dana Nessel

Nessel says after Schuette, ‘Every day I don’t set a kitten on fire, I’m a hero’

By: - February 3, 2019

As Michigan Democrats gathered this weekend in Detroit to pick new party leadership, the 2020 election loomed large. Almost 3,000 activists filled Cobo Hall and elected Michigan Democratic Party Chief Operating Officer Lavora Barnes as chair. Leaders also talked about 2018 victories and how to defeat President Donald Trump next year. In an interview last […]

Lavora Barnes

Barnes elected MDP’s first Black female chair

By: and - February 3, 2019

Lavora Barnes made history Saturday as she became the first African-American woman to lead the Michigan Democratic Party. “It’s a huge deal,” she said. “I’m trying not to cry, because this is a big deal for me and my mother — the fact Michigan, of all places, has never had a black woman [MDP] chair. […]

All Michigan congressional Dems endorse Barnes for party chair

By: - January 30, 2019

All nine Democratic members of Michigan’s congressional delegation are swinging their support to Lavora Barnes as the next Michigan Democratic Party chair. The last time this happened in a contested MDP race was in the heated 2013 battle when Lon Johnson earned the entire Democratic congressional delegation’s support, helping him oust then-Chair Mark Brewer. Democrats […]

Chief justice says Supreme Court needs to be more ‘nonpartisan’

By: - January 29, 2019

For the first time in a decade, a Democrat is leading the Michigan Supreme Court with Bridget McCormack. That’s even more remarkable since the court still has a 4-3 GOP majority. The new chief justice told the Michigan Advance in an in-depth interview on Friday that she believes the court ultimately “needs to be more […]


Susan J. Demas: Gretchen Whitmer will be a national star, whether you like it or not

By: - January 28, 2019

Newly inaugurated Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says she has no plans to land on the 2020 ticket. In fact, she was pretty emphatic that she didn’t want to run for president or vice president when I interviewed her in December before she took office. But voters might have other ideas. Something is definitely happening here in […]

Michigan in national news: Biden buoyed Upton in 2018

By: - January 27, 2019

With 10 million people, a full-time Legislature and our status as a 2020 swing state, Michigan is frequently in the glare of the national spotlight. Here’s a roundup of some national coverage of the Mitten State that you may have missed over the last week: There’s been a flurry of stories former Vice President Joe […]

Kildee: Trump took a ‘defeat lap’ on shutdown

By: - January 26, 2019

Before President Trump even signed the bill reopening the government — without any money for his border wall — Michigan officials took to Twitter on Friday. This was the longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history. As the Advance has noted, this impacted people in Michigan and across the country in many ways, including cinching […]