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Posted on Tue, May 14, 2013 : 4:50 p.m.

2 contested Ann Arbor City Council races on Aug. 6 primary ballot

By Ryan J. Stanton

The Aug. 6 primary ballot in Ann Arbor is set after Tuesday's filing deadline came and went for partisan candidates interested in running for City Council.

Five incumbents are seeking re-election this year, but only two of them — Marcia Higgins and Stephen Kunselman — will have to defend their seats in the primary.

Higgins, D-4th Ward, is up against neighborhood activist Jack Eaton, while Kunselman, D-3rd Ward, is being challenged by Julie Grand, chairwoman of the city's Park Advisory Commission.

The winners of both primary races could face an Independent opponent in November. Independents have until Aug. 7 to file to run in November and four already have pulled petitions.

Independent Samuel Devarti, who has pulled petitions but hasn't yet filed, could face off against the 3rd Ward primary winner in November.

Independent Noah Weber, who has pulled petitions but hasn't yet filed, could face off against the 4th Ward primary winner in November.

Kirk Westphal, chairman of the city's Planning Commission, filed to run as a Democrat in the 2nd Ward and will advance unopposed to compete in the November general election.

It's expected Westphal will compete in November against 2nd Ward incumbent Jane Lumm, an Independent, though Lumm has not yet pulled petitions. Another potential 2nd Ward candidate, Independent Conrad Brown, has pulled petitions but hasn't yet filed.

Sabra Briere, D-1st Ward, faces no opposition in the August primary, but she could face Independent Jaclyn Vresics in November. Vresics pulled nominating petitions but hasn't yet filed.

Mike Anglin, D-5th Ward, has no opponents at this point. Tom Partridge, a 5th Ward resident who's known for frequently speaking out at council meetings, pulled nominating petitions to run against Anglin as a Democrat but he failed to meet Tuesday's deadline to turn in signatures.

It's unclear at this point how many of the potential Independent candidates are affiliated with the Ann Arbor Mixed Use Party, a University of Michigan student group that vowed earlier this year to put up a slate of candidates. The Ann Arbor Chronicle reported Vresics is a member of the group.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.


Ryan J. Stanton

Sun, May 19, 2013 : 11:18 p.m.

Just confirmed that Jaclyn Vresics, Conrad Brown, Noah Weber, and Samuel Devarti are with the Mixed Use Party. It also looks like Conrad Brown may be the president of Young Americans for Liberty at the University of Michigan, which describes itself as "the only and the best non-partisan philosophical organization promoting freedom in society and economy on the University of Michigan campus."

Jack Eaton

Thu, May 16, 2013 : 3:23 p.m.

Thank you to Barzoom, Sparty, brimble, and DJBudSonicfor your kind words of support. While I am running in the Fourth Ward, my race is really a city-wide contest. As we saw with the A2D2 building moratorium and 413 E. Huron site plan votes, Council members from each ward have an impact on every neighborhood in the City. If you are interested in hearing about my campaign or wish to join the effort to add another neighborhood voice to City Council, please attend my campaign kick off event: Jack Eaton's Kick Off Event Sunday May 19, 2013 from 4-6 p.m Hathaway's Hideaway, 310 South Ashley, Ann Arbor


Wed, May 15, 2013 : 8 p.m.

Well on the 7th of August we will know if the community is serious about changing the make up of the council or not. Since Ann Arbor is a one party town, whoever wins on the 6th will be the next members of the council.


Wed, May 15, 2013 : 1:14 p.m.

No one works as hard as Jane Lumm. She really cares about Ann Arbor and its citizens who pay the taxes.


Wed, May 15, 2013 : 12:58 p.m.

Jack Eaton would be a great asset to the Council, and for the 4th Ward. Ms. Higgins is neither a strong voice on the Council, nor an active representative of the Ward; it is time to make this change!


Wed, May 15, 2013 : 1:08 p.m.

I agree, although to be honest I would have been at least as happy to see Teall go last year


Wed, May 15, 2013 : 12:11 p.m.

Section 13.8 of the City Charter says: "Petitions shall be filed with the Clerk not later than 5:00 p.m., on the seventh Monday prior to the date of the regular City primary election."Although the City has allowed independent candidates to file later, that is contrary to the charter.

Ryan J. Stanton

Wed, May 15, 2013 : 3:32 p.m.

The city clerk told me the city followed the city charter in the odd years until very recently when state law changed again and superseded the charter in all elections (previously just in state and national elections). Due to absentee ballot requirements (federal MOVE Act), the state now mandates all filing deadlines follow state law even in a local election. The clerk says the seventh Monday does not provide enough time to program, print and mail absentee ballots in compliance with state and federal laws. Hope that clears things up.


Wed, May 15, 2013 : 11:44 a.m.

Run Jack, Run. We need to remove another Heiftje robot from the city council.


Wed, May 15, 2013 : 9:10 p.m.

Amen, Ward 4 needs to get rid of both of it's invisible Women currently on the Council .... we almost made it last time, lets make this time the one !

G. Orwell

Wed, May 15, 2013 : 12:21 a.m.

Glad to see so many independents running. Both the Democrat and Republican parties are special interest parties and out dates and dying. Look at all the corruption with the Obama admin. as well as the Bush admin. Both parties better change and work for the people or they will be obsolete.


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 2:58 a.m.

You might want to take a vacation ol'sparto. Big storm a' coming


Wed, May 15, 2013 : 9:07 p.m.

What corruption with the Obama Administration? Has something been proven that I missed? I thought there were some Republican political investigations underway, but that there weren't any results yet .... other than the Benghazi State Department Report finding that the fault lay with low-level State Security Officials ? On the IRS front, today it was revealed that several Liberal Organizations also had extra scrutiny regarding their tax-exempt status and that the only organization that had their application denied was a LIBERAL Organization --- not a Tea Party or Conservative Group. Ironic, huh? And, of course, there's very limited info on the AP issue as of yet beyond the fact that it was related to a national security leak related to an airplane bombing. I'm sure more will be known soon. Do you know something that the rest of us have missed to claim corruption ????

Ellis Sams

Wed, May 15, 2013 : 1:30 a.m.

People run as independents because Ann Arbor won't elect republicans or libertarians. The surest path to elected office in Ann Arbor is to win the democrat primary. All other parties need not apply. Ann Arbor voters are largely doctrinaire and too often satisfied with marginally competent democrats. One need only watch city council to confirm this.


Tue, May 14, 2013 : 10:12 p.m.

We need all new faces in city council.


Tue, May 14, 2013 : 10:25 p.m.