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The Michigan Political Leadership Program returns to its roots in its 25th annual fundraising dinner rescheduled for Thursday, Oct. 1.

Michigan State University’s nationally recognized training grounds for rising leaders will celebrate its 25th annual dinner and 2019 class of MPLP Fellows along with alumni who were members of the very first class.

“We are gratified by this noteworthy milestone and by the support for a rescheduled event. It will be a great homecoming,” said Matt Grossmann, director of MSU’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research, where MPLP has made its academic home since 1992.

As part of the 25th anniversary celebration, political scientist and analyst Dr. Larry J. Sabato will keynote the annual fundraising dinner. Dr. Sabato, a bestselling author and award-winning television commentator and political predictor, will preview the 2020 election. The event takes place at the Kellogg Center on the MSU campus.

The event opens with a reception at 5 p.m. and dinner and program at 6 p.m. Tickets, tables and sponsorships are available now. Click here to link to tickets.

Moderator Tim Skubick will be celebrating a milestone of his own – 50+ years in news reporting and status as Michigan’s longest serving state Capitol reporter. He’s also known for his hard-charging style as senior Capitol Correspondent at “Off the Record,” weekly Michigan Public TV coverage of the governor’s office, the state Legislature, the political campaign trail and state government.

Since its founding, MPLP has trained some 700 people in personal leadership, policy analysis and good governing practices. Clink here to link to all MPLP graduates.

Dr. Sabato is a New York Times best-selling author, has won four Emmys, and is recognized as one of the nation’s most respected political analysts. He appears multiple times a week on national and international TV, including FOX, CNN, MSNBC, and CNN International.

A Rhodes Scholar, Dr. Sabato is the founder and director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, and has had visiting appointments at Oxford and Cambridge universities in England. He is the author or editor of two dozen books on American politics. He has taught over 20,000 students in his 40-year career, and the University of Virginia has given him its highest honor, The Thomas Jefferson Award. Next year Sabato will celebrate his 50th year of association with the University of Virginia.

Dr. Sabato is the editor and lead author of the recent book, "The Blue Wave," which explores the 2018 election and its outcome.

Professor Sabato heads up Sabato’s Crystal Ball, which has won numerous awards. The Pew Charitable Trust recognized the Crystal Ball as the #1 leader in the field of political prediction, and The Daily Beast designated it as one of the top political sites on the web. A thorough statistical analysis of all 2018 prognosticators found that the Crystal Ball was the best.

“Sabato’s pithy, witty and thoughtful,” said Grossmann. “He’s factual and straightforward. His gracious, bipartisan style will appeal to Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike.”

MPLP begins its training year as a new calendar year opens and invites those who are interested in political, corporate and nonprofit leadership to apply for its 24 Fellowship positions. Applications are available now and are due Friday, Sept. 13, 2019.

“We are seeking Democrats and Republicans from all across the state, from Detroit to Grand Rapids and from Coldwater to the Upper Peninsula,” said MPLP Co-Director Susy Avery, a former Republican State Party chair and executive in the administration of Gov. John Engler.

“Many of our MPLP graduates find the program life-changing, offering them new opportunities to learn, lead and succeed,” said Steve Tobocman, former state House Majority Floor Leader and a national leader in immigrant economic development.

Applicants are asked to be at least 21, a registered vote in Michigan, able to attend all training sessions and not be seeking political office in the same year they apply for MPLP.

“We are especially seeking applicants who are interested in running for public office, who are dedicated to sound public policy, may have experience in local community activities and electoral politics and have a willingness to learn and explore different points of view,” Tobocman said.

The dinner was initially scheduled for March, but moved to October as the world responded to the novel Coronavirus.