Advance Notice: Briefs

Deep-red Livingston County no longer has an all-GOP county board

By: - September 10, 2019 5:56 am

The growing Detroit exurbs of Livingston County have long been a GOP bastion, but there are some signs that the red wall is being breached.

Gary Childs

The county was supposed to be the Republican firewall in the mid-Michigan 8th Congressional District, but now-U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) triumphed in 2018 over then-U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop (R-Rochester). And now WHMI-FM reports that the all-Republican Livingston County Board of Commissioners is no more.

Gary Childs, a moderate GOP commissioner representing Green Oak Township and part of Brighton Township, announced this week that he’s now a Democrat:

Childs, who has been at odds with fellow commissioners on a variety of issues including the broadcasting of meetings and most recently about denying health care coverage to non-union employees for all abortions except those in which the life of the mother is in danger, said while he “cherish(ed)” his six and a half years as an elected County Commissioner, “the increasing political polarization I observe has become more and more disturbing to me.”

Childs said he has been a Republican with moderate views throughout his adult life and that he believes strongly, “whatever is best for our country, our county, and our towns should drive our leadership.”

The most high-profile party switch in Michigan this year came from U.S. Rep. Justin Amash of Cascade Township, who represents the 3rd Congressional District in West Michigan and left the GOP in July after calling for President Donald Trump’s impeachment to become an independent.

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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.