Advance Notice: Briefs

Pence, Haley drop out of Michigan GOP conference

By: - September 5, 2021 7:57 am

Vice President Mike Pence steps off of Marine Two in Michigan, April 24, 2019 | Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen via Flickr Public Domain

The biennial Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference scheduled for later this month has lost two headliners: former Vice President Mike Pence and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley.

Speakers who are still on the Michigan GOP event’s list include other potential 2024 presidential candidates U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem. Other guests include Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair Ronna McDaniel, former U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, former Michigan Gov. John Engler and former President Donald Trump spokesman and “Dancing with the Stars” alum Sean Spicer.

The confab is slated for Sept. 24 to 26 on Mackinac Island and is considered a critical event for GOP candidates before the 2022 election.

The Mackinac Policy Conference sponsored by the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce takes place days before at the Grand Hotel and has a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for safety, angering many Republicans. Michigan GOP Co-Chair Meshawn Maddock said last month the GOP event does not have one in a Facebook post swiping at the Detroit Chamber conference and urging people to “hang out with me and Sean ‘Spicy’ Spicer.”

Meshawn Maddock Facebook post

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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.