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O'Malley and SantorumTwo presidential hopefuls who brought their campaigns to Michigan in 2016 are coming back to the state as headliners for Michigan State University’s Michigan Political Leadership Program fundraising dinner and breakfast.

Former Democratic Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley will speak alongside former Republican U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania at MPLP’s dinner and breakfast fundraisers in March 2018.

Dinner’s set for Thursday, March 8, 2018 at Laurel Manor Banquet and Conference Center in Livonia. Breakfast takes place the next morning, Friday, March 9, 2018 at the JW Marriott in Grand Rapids.

Tickets are on sale now online at Alternatively, to mail in your reservation, use the Ticket Order form(.pdf). Tables and sponsorships are also available. More information about MPLP programs, fellowships and alumni can be found online.

“We are excited to invite former presidential contenders and accomplished public officials to help us understand how 2016 changed each political party and how each is evolving or fracturing going into 2018,” said Matt Grossmann, noted political scientist and director of MSU’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research.

“Santorum and O’Malley saw the 2016 voters and eventual nominees up close. We are excited to look back on a landmark presidential election and new administration. But as a Senator and Governor, they’ll also be equipped to offer a fresh take ahead of Michigan’s critical races for those offices in 2018.” he said.

Santorum served four years in the U.S. House and 12 years in the U.S. Senate and sought the presidency in 2016 and 2012. Second in the delegate race, Santorum was considered the conservative alternative to frontrunner Mitt Romney, who became the GOP presidential candidate in 2012.

Santorum’s a senior political commentator for CNN.

See Santorum’s background, biography and activities.

O’Malley earned his law degree from the University of Maryland was appointed as assistant state’s attorney for Baltimore before his election as governor in 2007. He’s a former Democratic Governors’ Association chair who worked to establish himself as a more progressive alternative to presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

He left the governorship in 2015 and was, as he puts it, “elevated to the role of citizen.”

See O’Malley’s background, biography and activities.

MPLP makes its home at IPPSR where policy education, political leadership and survey research converge. IPPSR is a unit within MSU’s College of Social Science.

MPLP annually selects 24 competitively selected Fellows – 12 men and 12 women who are evenly divided between major political parties and within all Michigan regions – to take part in 10 months of specialized weekend training.

The program, organized in 1992, is bipartisan and training takes part across the state. The program kicks off with the first weekend of fellowship sessions in February and winds up with festive graduations at the March fundraisers.

The curriculum includes sessions demonstrating core leadership values, including ethical governance, stewardship, political leadership and and evidence-based policymaking.

MPLP graduates are making their leadership mark. More than 600 people are now program alumni, with more than half of them serving or having served in appointed or elected positions. See those who have served as officeholders at all levels, plus a full listing of MPLP alumni.

New research shows that MPLP alumni are more likely to run for political office, and more likely to win the seats they seek, than those without the 10-month fellowships.

Eleven MPLP alumni now serve in the Michigan Legislature – four in the state Senate and seven in the state House.


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