Michigan GOP conference to feature Pence, Cruz, Haley and Graham

    The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, May 29, 2019 | Susan J. Demas

    The Michigan Republican Party announced Monday that U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) will join the lineup for its biennial conference on Mackinac Island.

    The confab is scheduled for Sept. 24 to 26.

    “Lindsey Graham has been an outspoken advocate for conservative principles and is a dedicated problem-solver,” said Michigan GOP Chair Ron Weiser. “We are excited to have him join the great line up of conference speakers.”

    Also slated to speak are former Vice President Mike Pence, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, all of whom are considered to be 2024 presidential contenders. Pence headlined the last conference in 2019 and drew national attention for his motorcade, even though cars are traditionally banned from the island.

    Susan J. Demas is a 19-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 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.