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, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. 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.

Calley: ‘Zero question’ he would have been stronger than Schuette against Whitmer

By: - December 21, 2018

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley on Thursday told the Michigan Advance that he’s fully confident he would have been a better general election GOP nominee than the man who defeated him in the Aug. 7 primary. “There’s zero question in my mind,” Calley said of Attorney General Bill Schuette.  When asked if he could have defeated Democrat […]

They’re baaack: Bieda busts out more T-Rex Lame Duck photos

By: - December 21, 2018

Back by popular demand, here are more of state Sen. Steve Bieda’s candid dinosaur photos from the Lame Duck all-nighter. The Senate, which came to order at 10 a.m. Thursday, finally adjourned around 7:30 a.m. Friday. Bieda (D-Warren) had plenty of time to place the Tyrannosaurus Rex figurine — a gift from a constituent — in […]

GOP clamps down on ballot proposals after progressive victories Nov. 6

By: and - December 21, 2018

Updated, 6:36 a.m. Dec. 21 Legislation that would make it more difficult to gather signatures for ballot proposals is headed Gov. Rick Snyder’s way. It hasn’t escaped notice that the measure was introduced and sped through the GOP-led Legislature only after three progressive initiatives for marijuana, redistricting reform and voting rights passed on Nov. 6. […]

In farewell speech, Calley lauds his family and Snyder, unloads Trump zinger

By: - December 20, 2018

In emotional farewell to the chamber he’s presided over for the last eight years, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley sung the praises of the man sitting behind him: Gov. Rick Snyder. “You are the greatest governor of my lifetime,” Calley said on the Michigan Senate rostrum. “You brought winning back to Michigan. You saved Detroit. You […]

Whitmer: Voters elected me to have the same powers as first 48 governors

By: - December 20, 2018

The Republican “power grab” bills that have been on the national radar are an example of “ugliness and foolishness” during Lame Duck sessions, Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer told the Advance this week. “When the dust settles at the end of this legislative term, I’m going to review my options, because the voters expect me to be […]

Bieda breaks up 17-hour Senate session with candid T-Rex shots

By: - December 19, 2018

Marathon Lame Duck legislative sessions will wear out even the best of us. State Sen. Steve Bieda (D-Warren) found a way to break up the almost 17-hour Michigan Senate session on Tuesday by taking a few candid photos of his colleagues and posting them on Facebook. For fun, he also took the shots with a […]

Bipartisan duo asks Snyder to veto GOP limits to ballot proposals

By: - December 18, 2018

Gov. Rick Snyder today received an appeal from Bill Rustem, a former adviser to both he and GOP Gov. William Milliken, and Doug Ross, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate who runs a charter school. The bipartisan duo asked Snyder to veto Lame Duck legislation that would erect hurdles to Michigan’s ballot initiative process. House Bill 6595, […]

Exclusive: Whitmer not interested in being on 2020 Democratic ticket

By: - December 18, 2018

Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer told the Advance on Monday that she has no interest in running for president or vice president in 2020. The East Lansing Democrat, who served 14 years in the Michigan Legislature, was the top vote-getter in Michigan on Nov. 6. She defeated GOP Attorney General Bill Schuette by 9 points. Given Whitmer’s […]

Schuette and Nessel, who faced off on same-sex marriage case, haven’t met during transition

By: - December 18, 2018

The Lame Duck session has been marked by a partisan power struggle, with the GOP-led Legislature fighting to strip powers from newly elected Democratic statewide officials. But the actual transition of power has been very collegial overall, with three of the four top new leaders meeting with their term-limited counterparts. However, Attorney General Bill Schuette, […]

Breaking: Whitmer endorses Barnes for Michigan Democratic Party chair

By: - December 17, 2018

Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer today endorsed Lavora Barnes as the next Michigan Democratic Party chair. In an exclusive interview with the Advance this morning, Whitmer said that she believes that Barnes, who currently serves as the MDP’s chief operating officer, is the best person for the job. “Lavora was a critical partner in this last cycle,” […]

GOP bill could shore up state parks funding

By: - December 17, 2018

Buried in the cavalcade of the GOP-controlled Legislature’s Lame Duck activity is a bill that could be a boon to funding for Michigan’s state parks. Senate Bill 1258, sponsored by term-limited state Sen. Goeff Hansen (R-Hart), makes a simple change in how the state’s Recreation Passport operates. The bill passed the Michigan Senate 29-8 last […]


Susan J. Demas: Snyder’s next act hinges on his Lame Duck legacy

By: - December 16, 2018

Rick Snyder is a man with a plan. He always has been. That’s part of how he rose from being raised in a modest 900-square-foot home in Battle Creek while working summers at the Gun Lake Northside Grocery to becoming the CEO of Gateway and, later, the 48th governor of Michigan. Snyder picked up his […]