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Posted on Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 5:59 a.m.

Fight for Independents: How Jane Lumm beat a Democratic incumbent in Ann Arbor

By Ryan J. Stanton


Jane Lumm, center, watches results come in at Paesano with campaign supporters and co-chairs Ann Schriber, right, and Niki Wardner, left. Lumm pulled off a victory as an Independent against Democratic incumbent Stephen Rapundalo in Tuesday's 2nd Ward race for the Ann Arbor City Council.

Ryan J. Stanton |

It was a bipartisan movement unlike any seen in recent Ann Arbor history, the coalescence of Democrats and Republicans alike, that propelled Jane Lumm to victory.

By many accounts, Lumm's ouster of Democratic incumbent Stephen Rapundalo in the 2nd Ward race for the Ann Arbor City Council marks a notable change.

The strong majority on council is now whittled from eight to seven, reducing the majority bloc's voting power. Lumm will serve a two-year term starting later this month.

And that's being chalked up as a major win by a long list of residents who share Lumm's concern that Ann Arbor officials have lost touch with the community's values.

"It's invigorating," Lumm said as she celebrated with a crowd of several dozen supporters at the Paesano restaurant on Washtenaw Avenue.

Lumm said she's inspired by the momentum behind her campaign. She and her supporters couldn't recall the last time an Independent was elected to the City Council.

"People are really motivated," she said. "It almost seems like there's this movement afoot to put these partisan divides behind us. Going forward, I just think it would be wonderful if the message for lots of people out there is they can do this, too."

Lumm picked up 60.4 percent of the vote on Tuesday. And she pulled it off as a known Republican running as an Independent, an impressive feat in a city that leans so heavily left and where all 11 council members for the past six years have been Democrats.

Helping Lumm was the fact that Rapundalo was vulnerable (he had never won with more than 52 percent of the vote in a general election), the 2nd Ward is more Republican-friendly than other wards, and it was an off-year election without other partisan issues on the ballot.

It also might have hurt Rapundalo that much controversy has surrounded the city's pedestrian safety ordinance, which he supported.

But the secret ingredient that tipped the scale appears to be the coalition of supporters who got behind Lumm as she raised and spent big bucks on her campaign.

"Why do I think Democrats got behind me?" said Lumm, who served on council as a Republican in the 1990s. "I think, again, it was all of this movement around concerns that we all shared. The partisan affiliations were not an issue, and it was an honor really that people could put that aside and come together."

Lumm campaigned on a promise of realigning the city's spending priorities on basic services like public safety, parks, streets and other basic infrastructure.

She stood opposed to Rapundalo on many issues, including the city's spending on public art, the pedestrian safety ordinance, and the proposed Fuller Road transit center project. She also expressed concerns Ann Arbor may have cut too deep into public safety.

"Apparently lots of folks in the 2nd Ward also share these concerns, and so I hope to do my best to provide a voice for these issues," Lumm said.


Lumm stands atop a chair to give a victory speech before a crowd of dozens of cheering supporters, which included a mix of both Democrats and Republicans.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Rapundalo spoke with via phone Tuesday night while surrounded by campaign supporters at his private residence.

"Obviously the voters spoke, and I respect that," he said. "And tomorrow's another day, life goes on, and I'm sure I'll occupy my time somehow."

Rapundalo, president and CEO of MichBio, the state's life sciences association, said he's not sure what his future involvement in city government might be, but he's not ruling anything out.

"If the mayor and others feel that they could use my talents and contributions, then I certainly would honor their interest and see if I could make a go of it," he said.

He said he had no regrets about his campaign or his six years on council.

"I think I was always able to bring a very objective point of view to whatever subject at hand," he said. "I tried to be fair, I tried to be inclusive, and to go where the facts took me. So I have no regrets. I think I have been honorable all the way through."

Among those who attended Lumm's victory party were several past political candidates who tried unsuccessfully to oust incumbent council members in recent years, including Tim Hull, John Floyd, Jack Eaton, Lou Glorie, Sumi Kailasapathy and Patricia Lesko.

Peter Eckstein, an Ann Arbor-based economist formerly on the staff of the Michigan AFL-CIO, also attended. He was one of many Democrats who crossed party lines to support Lumm.

Eckstein said it's not only notable Lumm won, but that Stephen Kunselman, Sabra Briere and Mike Anglin were re-elected this year. Despite all being Democrats, they often are seen as more independent from the rest of council and, at times, minority voices on issues.

"I think what's happened in the 2nd Ward — with an overwhelming vote for an Independent against an entrenched incumbent — is a real indication of voter sentiment and the fact that people want to see a change in priorities," Eckstein said.

Kunselman agreed, saying he senses growing dissent among the electorate in response to the actions of the council majority.

"There's been this arrogance across the board," he said. "You can only thumb your nose at the electorate for so long before they catch up with you."

Lumm served as a 2nd Ward representative on council from 1993 to 1998. She later waged a long-shot campaign for mayor as a Republican in 2004 and lost to Mayor John Hieftje.

She said she wasn't planning on seeking office this year, but a number of local Democrats and Republicans recruited her to run.

The honorary co-chairs of her campaign were Ingrid Sheldon, a Republican who represented the 2nd Ward on council from 1988 to 1992 before serving as mayor from 1993 to 2000, and Leslie Morris, a Democrat who represented the 2nd Ward from 1977 to 1983.

Sheldon and Morris were among those celebrating with Lumm on Election Night. Sheldon praised the work Lumm did on council in the '90s.

"She really put her heart and soul into her job and her investigating and how she thought through issues," Sheldon said. "So the Ann Arbor public is going to be well served by having her be elected this year."

Also supporting Lumm was well-known Democrat Ted Annis, former treasurer for the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority.


Stephen Rapundalo, shown here in this photo from a candidate forum last month, will step down from the Ann Arbor City Council this month after losing to Jane Lumm.

Ryan J. Stanton |

"I've known Jane Lumm for years," Annis said. "When she was a Republican, she was moderate. I love her views and she's committed to protecting our park land, something that Rapundalo was not."

Pat Johnston, the retired principal of Wines Elementary School in Ann Arbor, is another Democrat who supported Lumm.

"All my Democratic friends just told me how we needed to make a difference and make a change and I know how responsible Jane is, how she does her research, how she's fair, how committed she is to listening to her constituents," Johnston said, adding that set Lumm apart from Rapundalo.

"I think the biggest thing is Rapundalo didn't communicate to people," she said. "I know so many people who never heard from him until maybe the month before the election."

Though she's planning to be an independent voice on council, Lumm said she intends to work with all council members, including those who supported her opponent.

Rapundalo had support from Hieftje and fellow council members Sandi Smith, Tony Derezinski, Christopher Taylor, Margie Teall, Marcia Higgins and Carsten Hohnke.

"Everybody cares about this community. We just look at issues differently obviously," Lumm said. "But that doesn't mean that we can't work together."

Rapundalo's last meeting is Thursday. Lumm is expected to be sworn in Nov. 21, and she already knows there are going to be times when she's outnumbered.

"I've certainly been in the minority before and it doesn't keep me from trying," she said. "So yeah, we'll try to find some common bonds, because it's important that we work together. And if not, at the very least I can raise issues that might not otherwise be raised and discussed."

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 e-mail newsletters.


Andrew Smith

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 11:59 a.m.

Like Mao's China and Stalin's Russia, Ann Arbor has long suffered under single-party rule. It is truly a sign of hope that Jane Lumm has broken the stranglehold which the Democrat Party has had on the city's elected offices. Now we can have at least the possibility for a diversity of thought when the city council considers a question.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 4:54 p.m.

Jane Lumm was supported by sitting members of Council constituting one faction in it. Sorry, you are not getting any new contribution to diversity of thought, just a shift of the balance between two existing factions.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 4:01 a.m.

An independent? I am not convinced. Everything I have read suggests that Lumm is a Republican. There may have been bipartisan support but the same was true for Snyder and many of us learned to regret that. I fear this will be the same here.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 12:41 a.m.

All this over 1 council seat. I can't wait to read the reactions when Obama loses next year, it will be seismic.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 4:16 a.m.

And won't happen!


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 12:20 a.m.

Mr Rapundalo you look like a sore looser. It would have been nice for you to congratulate Jane Lumm.

Ann English

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:02 p.m.

Mike, Stephen Rapundalo ran for mayor of Ann Arbor in 2004 or earlier as a Republican; I know he ran against Hieftje for mayor one year, then switched parties to increase his chances of getting elected to the next office he ran for. I'd like to see election results at least this good the next time my township elections are held.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 6:32 p.m.

it's not a great mystery how u win an almost everyone of them the candidate that gets the most votes wins.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 8:31 p.m.

Not so much. Gore V Bush 2000


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 5:52 p.m.

Somehow in that whole article you never managed to mention the Sierra Club? Did you get a look at the campaign contributions? Please compare those to local prominent Sierra Club members, and you'll re-think leaving them out. My understanding is that the Sierra Club was largely upset over the proposed rail station - or at least the parking deck that's the only part the University is willing to fund - on current city parkland. If money makes a difference, and it almost always does, then the rail station was at least as important as the crosswalk ordinance. Let's not forget that we're still basically in a Depression in Michigan, and the 2nd Ward is the most conservative in the city. Hence these are the voters most likely to think that city hall is financially badly managed. Not surprisingly, they were the most likely to take out their frustrations on their moderate councilmember, electing someone more likely to be a bit more conservative. Also, WRT the crosswalk ordinance, as I recall reading about that vote, it was unanimous. So maybe the 2nd Ward is more ticked off about the results than the rest of the city, but the other four Wards voted back in their council members who had voted for the crosswalk ordinance. Doesn't sound like's Jihad against the crosswalk ordinance made as big a difference in the election as this article tries to make it sound. As I noted before, I've worked with Jane Lumm in the past, and she'll do a good job for the 2nd Ward. Congratulations to her.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 4:48 p.m.

As to the Sierra Club, you are not going back far enough. Its honcho Cowherd was long a close political ally of Hieftje until after they got the Greenbelt millage passed. Cowherd thought that he owned the Greenbelt and expected Hiefje to appoint him to run it. When that did not happen, it set off a feud. Rapundalo was collateral damage.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 6:27 p.m.

As a Ward 2 voter, I have to say that Stephen Rapundalo's loss was not a foregone conclusion based on depression + conservative voters. He ignored his constituents, went against their strongly expressed best interests, never showed up locally, and basically shot himself in the foot. Look at the other Ward 2 votes: incumbent school board members and extra millages.

Tom Teague

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 5:03 p.m.

Past and future challengers should memorize the lessons from Lumm's campaign, because they outline a successful strategy for beating an incumbent opponent: Build a solid coalition before you throw your hat in the ring, take concrete stands on current issues, don't simply rely on anti-incumbent rumblings to propel you to victory, clearly articulate the differences between you and your opponent, maintain your visibility during the campaign, ask for people's votes, and make sure your supporters get to the polls on election day. It doesn't hurt if you run from the center either, because it's harder to build support from one of the wings. The unsuccessful Council challengers did some of these but not all. It's hard work and requires a laser focus on winning the prize.

Tom Teague

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 9:01 p.m.

Interesting point ja2. I'd add that defeating an incumbent who may also be a bad candidate or campaigner still takes a lot more work than people know. Going up against a bad incumbent candidate and losing can really limit someone's political future, so it's smart to have a good plan and stick with it all the way through election day. I suspect you're correct about the candidates' relationship to the political center. Personally I would hate to have the assignment of determining the center point of the Ann Arbor electorate. :-)


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 8:37 p.m.

I think it also helps to run against a very poor candidate. Stephen Rapundalo has never been the guy garnering 60-70% of the vote. He is a democrat because he couldn't win otherwise. Jane Lumm is an independent, because running as a republican would have lost her the election. I think in the political ideology scale they are both centerists, but to the right of the rest of the city.

Tom Teague

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 5:10 p.m.

P.S. - I have no direct evidence of this, but the speed with which this election was called last night leads me to believe that Jane Lumm had a good post-closing-hour organization at the polls or at the election commission offices. The results were picked up and announced well before the other races. If that's the case, it's another sign of a real pro.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 4:15 p.m.

The Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street ganged up on a moderate incumbent and won. Note the gloating from both extremes in the Comments, and examine the guest list at the victory party. Only in Ann Arbor.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 12:41 p.m.

@Stuart Brown: while Lumm's victory is probably mostly attributable to nonpartisan moderates / independents your particular weigh -in supports " demistify's" concerns , since your GREENS have attempted to sneak into/coopt ( however unsuccessfully) the more extremist fringes at both political poles. ( not that OWS is on the whole as remotely extreme as the teaparty...but it does have its off- the- wall elements, like the local GREENS, per a good NY TIMES piece by David Brooks...with whom I rarely agree otherwise ).

Stuart Brown

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 3:18 a.m.

David Cahill is an extreme supporter of either the Tea Party or OWS? Dream on; this was a broad-based coalition of people interested in good government.

gene Jones

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 3:58 p.m.

Great to be a part of Jane's campaign!


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 3:56 p.m.

I have a dream that my 11 council members will one day live in a city where they will not be judged by their party affiliation, but by the content of their character.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 3:42 p.m.

I, a Demorcrat, supported Jane. It's not so much as being affiliated with one party as another, it's about who can bring leadership to council with fresh ideas and not become another latchkey of the mayor. Not to worry Rapundalo, I'm sure Mayor Hieftje can appoint you to one of his favorite committee's. Maybe DDA to keep their dollars coming into the city. Best wishes Jane.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 6:24 p.m.

I'm confused about why the mayor would appoint someone to a committee who has been rounded rejected by his own constituency. How can we ever get untrustworthy people out of city government if they just get appointed to other positions? Appointing Rapundalo to a committee position seems like adhering to the law but flying in the face of what the mayor knows his constituents want.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 5:26 p.m.

You can be sure the Mayor will appoint him to a committee. We need to vote the Mayor out next time he's up for re-election!!

Patricia Lesko

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 3:20 p.m.

While I was at Jane's event (I spoke to as many of the candidates who ran as possible last night), it's somewhat puzzling that I get a mention in this analysis, yet the reporter neglects to point out that John Hieftje did NOT attend Lumm's party to congratulate her. While it's always flattering to be recognized in public, I'm not the Mayor. I was at Lumm's party so I could chat with folks who'd worked on Lumm's campaign, and post a piece to A2Politico about Lumm's election, including an analysis of her win and what it could mean to city and state political machines, including Rick Snyder and John Dingell. (<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> might ask Ann Arbor's mayor why he snubbed the newest INDEPENDENT Council member on election night. While you're at it, ask Hieftje why he has repeatedly snubbed sitting Councilman Mike Anglin, and might ask Higgins, Teall, Derezinski, Taylor, Smith and Hohnke why they snubbed Lumm and Anglin last night, as well. The local press continues to ignore the real story: Hieftje and his group of political allies who run together, vote in virtual lockstep, who fund each other's campaigns through direct donations and PAC donations, and who hole up in private together on election night and won't speak to the Press, refuse to treat their colleagues (and often the public) with even minimal respect.

Stuart Brown

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 3:22 a.m.

Pat's criticism is well placed since Hieftje's side is constantly carping about the virtues of being a Team Player in order to get things done.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 5:06 p.m.

Why don't you tell us Patricia, why you think your opinion of where the mayor should be trumps his? Until you are his appointment administrator your opinion of where he should be is of no interest to anyone. Why do you thing it so important the ask the mayor and others about all that snubbing? If you are a writer, ask them yourself.

Kai Petainen

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 5:02 p.m.

Even at the highest levels of government, it is quite common to hear... &quot;I just got off the phone with so-and-so, and they were kind and voiced their congratulations to me&quot;. It's like shaking the hand of your oppponent at the end of the NHL Playoffs. I whole-heartedly believe in congratulating each person who won last night, regardless of whether or not I agree with their political views. People are giving me a hard time for congratulating Higgins, but she too deserves congratulations (she won an election, that was decided by the voting public). Call me old-fashioned, but I believe it is the chivalrous, &quot;gentlemanly&quot;, and civil thing to do -- to call your opponent and wish them a civil and kind congratulations. If Rapundalo and/or Hieftje did not call and wish congratulations, then it is a statement of ego, character and down-right disrespect.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 3:53 p.m.

Honestly, who cares? Hieftje can do what he likes on election night. Why should he adhere to your idea of proper conduct? You're merely attempting to create controversy out of thin air.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 2:51 p.m.

I certainly don't mind seeing Rapundalo go ... but I'm not at all certain that Lumm will be an improvement. Time will tell.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 2:48 p.m.

Congrats Jane! I am so glad that you won especially after Rapundalo's people called the City and had your signs removed. Now, get prepared to run for Mayor.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 2:38 p.m.

Yo, I *DO* want them to privatize Huron Hills. I am extremely tired of it being a money sink, which my tax dollars support, to ensure that the view from some expensive Real estate remains lovely. You want the view, pay for it yourselves, don't use my tax dollars to support the property value of a few. Enough! Sell the damn thing and start collecting taxes on it. And, it's really not about golf because if it was the stupid thing would be making money not costing money.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 9:53 p.m.

so johnnya2,I guess if our opinion differs from yours then we have to move out of Ann Arbor?


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 9:08 p.m.

So, with comment retracted regarding my opinion of funding sources for various campaigns, I say again, this golf course is actually a view for a few, more than anything else. There is a wonderful park right next door to it, Gallup Park, where one can walk, bike, roller blade and enjoy green space. I disagree with spending this much on this particular &quot;park&quot;. And no, I'm not moving because of what I see as tax dollars wasted on the golf course, but I am going to advocate for putting it back on the tax roles.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 8:30 p.m.

You do not understand the accounting and money that the golf course pays towards things that would be there anyway. The golf course makes a profit in MOST worlds (revenue minus expenses). BUT then the city adds on a portion of the entire cities IT services to the golf course. They also attach a portion of police and fire to them. The amount spent on police, fire and IT will not change whether the course is sold or not. It will just mean it will be charged elsewhere (maybe Veterans park). I work for a division of a company that does the same thing. My division takes up 10% of the building we lease. We are charged that portion of the rent. If my division were to close down, the other 6 divisions would then need to shoulder that portion and all the revenue we produce would be gone. Finally, the city is NOT in the business of making money. They are there to provide services the RESIDENTS want. The people of Ann Arbor CONTINUALLY elect those that help parks, golf courses, swimming pools, etc. Just because YOU don't like that, does not mean the rest of us should suffer. There is a simple way for your tax dollars to not support the golf course. There are plenty of properties available in Ypsi or a township.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 5:20 p.m.

Why don't you just move somewhere else? You're getting very angry over a golf course! Let's set our priorities, now!


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 5:04 p.m.

I thought the course started to make money last year. Why does the course loose money? Prolly because how the city charges each department outrageous costs and especially outrageous IT costs. And the IT department is sitting on a large bucket of money. Take for an example, you can buy a set of windshield wipers for 15 to 20 dollars at the store. It cost's the Ann Arbor Police department 50 dollars to purchase them and have them installed at their city garage. It would be cheaper if the department just bought them from an auto parts store instead of their own garage.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 4 p.m.

Sell it so we can free up some more money to buy green space out in Webster Township!


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 3:25 p.m.

City government is not about making money. It is about spending money to provide services and ammenities for the citizens. The golf courses make not be a profit center but neither is the police department, fire department, waterworks, etc. Golf courses, parks, recreational programs, etc. provide an enhanced lifestyle for the citizens. Granted when the belt needs to be tightened, some ammenities need to be evaluated and potentionally eliminated.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 2:37 p.m.

This race was a republican against a republican. Don't kid yourselves into thinking Rapundalo is a democrat. The party switch was in name only. (If you believe that, drive by his home sometime when there are upcoming statewide and national elections and take a look at his yard signs). I am a staunch ward 2 democrat and I voted for Lumm and am so pleased there will at least be a change. Maybe it won't be for the better but I have long felt the city council was generally aloof, disinterested in truly representing constituents and almost conceited in its approach to some issues. Lumm may not represent my ideal in a candidate but I get the sense she'll be a lot more transparent and honest.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 2:25 p.m.

In his remarks, Rapundalo didn't even have the decency to congratulate Jane on her win. It was all about him. Inability to do the right thing--again.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 2:24 p.m.

Meanwhile in ward 4, Marcia Higgins gets re-elected without so much as campaigning, debating, or having a website to list her stance on local issues. She is an apathetic crony. Pathetic.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 10:05 p.m.

As a resident in Ward 4, I hope that is not the case. I can only surmise that it's a bad case of people hesitant to stray from the (D) party affiliation despite the fact that it would have been what's best for the city. Higgins ought to be embarrassed for not campaigning, debating, being accessible, or doing anything other than voting along with the Mayors cabal. She is pathetic without doubt. She should resign in favor of someone who votes for what's best for their constituency.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 2:40 p.m.

Or, perhaps it is because the people in her ward feel she is doing a good job.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 2:07 p.m.

It is a shame that the public thinks that politics needs to be polorized. Democrats want social programs and Republicans want fiscal responsibility. A true independent can find common ground between the 2 parties, garner the best of both worlds, and appeal to the masses. Going to the polls and pulling the straight party ticket is not evaluating the candidate's stance on each agenda item. It is more of a spite vote against the other side. What our political process needs now more than ever is the independent thinker who realizes the need for social programs, to help those down on their luck to become productive citizens again, to ensure basic services are provided, to balance the budget and live within our means, and to plan for the future. These are the fundamentals that deserve consideration. Holding to extreme ideals all the while scoffing at the polor opposites does not provide solutions nor solve problems.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 7:12 p.m.

And my point is that social programs ought be no more an issue for city government than national defense. So the question is what issues, exactly, define these two parties at the city level? And realize that the mayor and his allies on the city council (as is true with almost the entire Democratic Party) are what used to pass for moderate Republicans. GN&amp;GL


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 6:42 p.m.

Ghost: there are several items that divide the 2 major political parties, those I identified are the ones that each side espouses as their major theme. At the Federal level, both parties are negligent in controlling spending and have appetites for pork rather than fasting for the sake of all. Controlling spending is key, however there still exists the need to ensure that the spending is wise, that it is essential, and that the spending benefits the greater need of the public although sometimes the need is narrow and very specific. My general point to in my comment is that each candidate, Republican, Democrat, or Independent needs to be assessed for the stance on subject matters, not by their political party.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 6:02 p.m.

How much money does the City of Ann Arbor provide for the &quot;social programs&quot; it runs? I don't know the answer to that question but I'd be willing to bet it is a VERY small portion of the city's budget, that most of the money comes from the sate and federal governments. If that is the case, the question of social programs is not one that ought divide the parties in city politics. Good Night and Good Luck


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 5:57 p.m.

Since independents will more than likely never win at the State or Federal level, a working relationship with plenty of gives and takes is needed to allow government to function properly. The last progressive administration at the Federal level was Clinton. Although I despised his immoral tendencies proving he was far less a good role model than others, his ability to work with congress, grow the economy, and reduce the deficit that had been growing under both democrats and republican ranks him high among one of our better leaders. Thank you for the compliment.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 4:57 p.m.

Very good post Grye. I agree. At the local level political partisanship should be a lot less important than at the state and federal level. Local govt needs to make sure sound fiscal decisions are made, that services are properly ranked from essential down to non essential and properly funded.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 1:50 p.m.

&quot;The strong majority on council is now whittled from eight to seven, reducing the majority bloc's voting power&quot;. Boy, THAT oughta slow them down.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 4:54 p.m.

That is what I was thinking. Not much of a speed bump, but it is good to see this win especially by a significant margin.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 1:44 p.m.

This is good news for those who are tired of the real estate cabal that has been dominating council for years. Let us hope that this is the beginning of a trend and that next year, when more people vote, will see more change on council and that the manipulated &quot;majority&quot; that the mayor picks and controls will shrink further.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 1:19 p.m.

Yay! Very happy with the results!


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 1:02 p.m.

Hey Clownfish! PLEASE copy the part where anyone said this is a mandate. Your talking points don't work this time!


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 12:58 p.m.

Great win for Jane Lumm...She worked very hard and had people who really believed in her. Your comment about her raising big bugs is not relevant at all.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 12:48 p.m.

An independent picked up 20% of the seats available, and people think this is a referendum or &quot;mandate&quot;?


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 1:03 p.m.

It is a start and that must have you terrified!


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 12:46 p.m.

Way to go Jane!! Way to go Ann Arbor!

sojourner truth

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:45 a.m.

Hoorah for Jane Lumm and her team. Reading her remarks makes me hopeful that we can get the Council back on track, and they will have to think before they leap. The Council has spent money needlessly executing projects and then finding out that the citizens don't want them (Privatizing Huron Hills, the Conference Center etc). Jane will listen to her constituents and then go to the Council; not the other way around. Her win is a win for ann Arbor!!


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:29 a.m.

I never thought I'd live to see the day that an incumbent democrat would get voted out of office in Ann Arbor. Maybe there is some hope.............

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 5:58 p.m.

You, apparently, have lived either a short life or a sheltered life, or both. Ingird Sheldon (R) defeated Liz Brater (D) for mayor in the mid-1990s (don't remember the exact year). On the other hand, today's Republican Party would label Sheldon a RINO, which might explain why Lumm ran as an independent--her former party has become an embarrassment. Good Night and Good Luck


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 2:41 p.m.

Neither Rapundalo nor Lumm is a democrat. Rapundalo switched parties in name only a few years ago to, as I see it, keep his political career alive. Check out his yard signs the next time there's a state-level or national election. Lumm is still a republican, I am sure. So what? If she'll do the right thing and be forthright about it, more power to her.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 12:06 p.m.

Lumm SERVED as a Republican on the Council in the 1990s. What's important is that the citizens of Ann Arbor--at least in the 2d Ward realized that party affiliation is the problem, not the solution. I'm hoping Lumm who's campaign was steered with bipartisan chairs will really assess what's best and not align with party interests which have only become special interests. I'll believe it when I see it, but let all politicians be warned. If you consider yourself a leader and not a servant, if you believe you know better what the people need and vote against their overwhelming objections to further an agenda (any agenda Rep or Dem) you will find your days in &quot;power&quot; will be short. There was little desire for that Fuller Rd station, there was little need for the pedestrian ordinance or the texting ordinance. There's no need for the car idling ordinance. Pay attention to the fundamental services gov't should provide--police, fire, safety, trash collection. If you don't have those basic services in order, you better put the art on hold...

Alan Goldsmith

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:40 a.m.

It wasn't a Democrat. It was a RIck Snyder supporting, union bashing Democrat In Name Only who in the past RAN as a Republican.

Alan Goldsmith

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:11 a.m.

Bingo, we have a winner: &quot;Kunselman agreed, saying he senses growing dissent among the electorate in response to the actions of the council majority. &quot;There's been this arrogance across the board,&quot; he said. &quot;You can only thumb your nose at the electorate for so long before they catch up with you.&quot;&quot;

Alan Goldsmith

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:07 a.m.

&quot;And that's being chalked up as a major win by a long list of residents who share Lumm's concern that Ann Arbor officials have lost touch with the community's values.&quot; Not to mention, some observers suggest, how irrelevant the editorial support and endorsement by was when it comes to influencing voter opinions. Some local experts believe, it fact, the endorsement did the opposite and helped with Stephen Rapundalo's defeat. Your thoughts? Lol.