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Posted on Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 8:29 p.m.

Jane Lumm beats Stephen Rapundalo in 2nd Ward Race for Ann Arbor City Council

By Ryan J. Stanton


Jane Lumm, center, celebrates victory at Paesano with campaign supporters and co-chairs Ann Schriber, right, and Niki Wardner, left.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Read Washtenaw County election results here.

With all precincts reporting, challenger Jane Lumm has defeated incumbent Stephen Rapundalo in the 2nd Ward race for the Ann Arbor City Council.

The vote count was 2,079 to 1,359, giving Lumm a solid edge over Rapundalo. Cheers erupted shortly before 8:30 p.m. at her election night party at Paesano on Washtenaw Avenue where Lumm later gave a victory speech to a crowd of several dozen supporters.

Percentage-wise, Lumm picked up 60.4 percent of the vote. Rapundalo is said to be with supporters at his private residence and is not welcoming the media.

Many expected the race to be close heading into Tuesday's election. Lumm's surprise Independent campaign this year gained support from both Democrats and Republicans who share her concern that Ann Arbor officials have lost touch with the community's values.


Stephen Rapundalo


Jane Lumm

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

Rapundalo, a Democrat who has represented the 2nd Ward on council for the last six years, did his best to characterize Lumm as a naysayer, arguing the city has spent the last 15 years cleaning up the mess made by Lumm and other council members from the '90s.

Lumm, who served as a Republican on council from 1993 to 1998, fired back at Rapundalo in recent weeks and rejected his characterization of her record.

At a neighborhood candidate forum in late October, Lumm called Rapundalo a liar and told the residents in attendance they deserve better representation.

Rapundalo losing his seat to Lumm means the strong majority on the 11-member council is whittled from eight to seven — reducing the majority bloc's voting power.

Rapundalo, one of Mayor John Hieftje's trusted Democratic allies, often aligned himself with the mayor and fellow Democratic council members and campaign supporters Sandi Smith, Tony Derezinski, Christopher Taylor, Margie Teall, Marcia Higgins and Carsten Hohnke.

Lumm is critical of many programs and projects Rapundalo and the council majority have supported, including spending on public art, the pedestrian safety ordinance, the proposed Fuller Road transit station, the new Ann Arbor Justice Center that houses police and courts, and the underground parking garage being built by the Downtown Development Authority.

Lumm said there's a time and place for everything, but she has argued this is one of those difficult periods in Ann Arbor's history when visions of new transit centers — such as the Fuller Road Station project — and public art are maybe just "nice-to-haves."

But questions remain about just how effective Lumm might be as a minority on council. She's the first to admit she had a hard time getting any of her proposals through in the '90s.

"I drove them all crazy," she said in an interview in October, recalling one council member told her: "Jane, you know we are never going to support anything that you bring forward."

It's still unclear what a victory for Lumm would mean for Fuller Road Station, a $121 million project that involves building a new transit center in front of the University of Michigan medical campus. Rapundalo is a staunch supporter of the project, which is expected to be a prime stop for a new federally funded high-speed rail corridor between Detroit and Chicago and a hub of activity for bus transit services in Ann Arbor.

Lumm said she doesn't support the current proposal, but the long-term vision could very well be in Ann Arbor’s best interests.

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.



Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 6:30 p.m. Do you have precinct-by-precinct or ward-by-ward voting breakdowns?


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 7:49 p.m.

Check the County Clerk section at <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Wolf's Bane

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

Time for change can't all be bad. Even if it is a Republican.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:06 a.m.

all i can say is we shall see! this is a test for them. i say Independent same as a Republican on council . my guess she will vote with them. now she has a chance to vote for what the people want. not the party. once again we shall see and look,


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 4:04 a.m.

Let this election be an awkening for the other council members. The 4th Ward may have kept Marcia but not exactly by a landslide. Council members, you work for the citizens, keep that in mind if you wish to remain on the council or you too could be voted off the island in the next election! I'm sure that Stephen will have plenty of time to find something new to appear &quot;engaged&quot; in with the free time he will have now that he is a former city council member. Jane, keep the rest of the council in check, someone needs to have done that for a very long time.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 5:12 a.m.

And it's a darn shame we kept Marcia in my ward. She didn't show up for debates, isn't responsive, and apparently feels entitled to her position on the Council. Shame on us in Ward 4!


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 4:38 a.m.

@ L.C.: The big embarrassment to Marcia Higgins is that Eric Scheie actully beat her in the large Ninth Precinct where Scheie collected several hundred votes.

L. C. Burgundy

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 4:24 a.m.

The fact that Marcia Higgins got only 60% against a very poorly funded (R) really should be the warning shot over the bow, but I doubt she's taking any notes.

Kai Petainen

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 3:57 a.m.

Just wanted to say thanks to Ryan for covering all of this. He's a superstar reporter. Although AnnArbor News got some grief from readers about who they supported, (it's quite common for news agencies to support someone), Ryan came through and gave a nice approach at his writing and he spoke about both sides. Congrats to Ryan and to Ann Arbor news for covering this. It can't be easy to do, but you did it, and I think your integrity as a news agency and importance to Ann Arbor has grown a lot more. Congrats. But I can't go away without saying one minor complaint -- bring back Ed. We need the King of FOIA.

Ryan J. Stanton

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 6:23 a.m.

Thanks for the kind words, Kai. Keep reading and I'll keep writing.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 3:41 a.m.

The victory celebration was sweet at Paesano's tonight for the Lumms. It was a victory of the people over vested intersts at City Hall. This election was a stern rebuke to John Hieftje and the Council Party. Hizzoner's door-to-door politiciking made little headway. Make no bones about it - Jane will be likely the most conservative City Council member n the last dozen years in Ann Arbor. This election ushers in a new era signalling the decline of the Council Party. It also proves a formula on how to beat the Council Party - take a respected ex-council member like Mr.Kunselman or Jane Lumm and form a broad-based grass-roots coalition for campaign support and Hieftje's cronies can be toast. Congratulations to Jane and her family and to all that made her win possible.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 3:31 a.m.

Voters in the 2nd Ward got out and voted today! You all made such a difference! We now have a great representative in Jane Lumm!! We all made a big change today! Congrats to Jane Lumm and to the 2nd Ward!!


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 3:27 a.m.

&quot;Rapundalo, one of Mayor John Hieftje's trusted Democratic allies, often aligns himself with the mayor...&quot; reason enough for a change. Congratulations Jane, please don't let us down. The northeast side of Ann Arbor is counting on you!


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 12:57 p.m.

ALL of Ann Arbor is counting on her.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 3:27 a.m.

Yes!!! Thank You 2nd Ward!!!

Kai Petainen

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 3:16 a.m.

&quot;Lumm is critical of many programs... ...the proposed Fuller Road transit station&quot; Lumm, you had me at 'critical... ...Fuller Road'. Here's a photo of the view from the Ronald McDonald rooms at the new hospital. The rooms overlooking the new parking lot at Fuller will provide plenty of enjoyment for children. They'll get a chance to hear the noise of trains stopping and going beneath the concrete jungle, they'll watch the exhaust trickle into the atmosphere, and they'll see less of what they're missing (the park and the pool) <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Lumm, when you get to city hall, please remember the things that you campaigned on. Congrats again.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 3:10 a.m.

Hopefully Lumm, Anglin and Kunselman will win council support for a public vote on Fuller Station!


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 3:44 a.m.

- RUK.... your scenerio is definately preferable and would be pleasantly surprising. But for now all I am asking for is baby steps. The vote would be interesting and perhaps by the time the dust settled, our fiscal realities will help prevent this project from ever happening.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 3:18 a.m.

Yeah, but what if people who don't know what an insanely terrible project it is vote FOR it? I prefer they just make the safe assumption that since there's zero justification for it even in the best of times, and they have no idea how they'll pay for it, who will run it, etc. that they should just stop wasting money on it.

Kai Petainen

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 2:57 a.m.

Lumm. Congratulations! Yippee!


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 2:56 a.m.

I only wish I had a non-incumbent option for ward 1. I HOPE, I sincerely, fervently HOPE that this is the beginning of a complete turnaround for A2 council and what they're doing with the enormous amounts of money they take from us. One nice first step would be to lower water/sewer rates to pre-New City Hall, or pre-3/4 mil art beam rates.


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

ocho, unless I misunderstood, the water/sewer IS one of the buckets the public art funding comes from. So I hate that while we are scraping to try to make ends meet, we not ony pay for public art but ALSO have the rates RAISED. Plus I find it to be a jagged pill when the city continues publicizing a financial crisis, lack of funding, need to reduce services, etc. while at the same time building a palacial new City Hall, renovating the OLD City Hall, expanding bus service, enacting new millages, etc. etc.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 3:40 a.m.

I'm glad you're pleased, but then you decided to throw in unrelated points. How does your water rate relate to public art or the city hall addition?


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 2:55 a.m.

It looks like Rapundalo can spend a year or two being a block captain and get to know the people in his neighborhood. See the city government, council, services, etc. from your front porch rather than from the council chambers. Once he's been in exile for two years, perhaps he can try again with some local knowledge.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 2:47 a.m.

Change starts with just one election. There will be more elections, and hopefully more change.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 2:45 a.m.

I hope this outcome is seen (as it should be) as a demand that council members represent their wards and respond to their constituents, not just do what the power centers ask them to do. I know a lot of people who would have happily voted Stephen Rapundalo back in if he had listened to our interests rather than the mayor's.


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

Bye, bye Stephen. Don't go away mad....................... Until the last few weeks you took the voters (those you were suppose to represent) for granted. Congrats to Jane Lumm and I wish you much success. Down with Hieftjeism!


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 2:32 a.m.

It's about time! Repeal the pedestrian ordinance NOW!

Jay Steichmann

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 2:27 a.m.

I'm all for balance &amp; change on city council--one party in charge doesn't seem to get dialog going. Maybe this is a start of a sea change on council, or maybe it is just part of the larger &quot;vote every incumbent out&quot;nonsense gripping the nation.

Stuart Brown

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 2:26 a.m.

Congratulations to Jane Lumm; the residents of the Second Ward will now be represented on council instead of the other way around. This election is historic since usually, the winner of the Democratic Primary is a shoe-in at the November election; but not this time!


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 5:07 a.m.

No more Ann Arbor Democratic Party monopoly on City Council.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 1:54 a.m.

Great news! If all Jane does is impede &quot;progress&quot;, I'm thrilled. I don't need any of our city councils version of &quot;progress&quot;: - The pedestrian &quot;safety&quot; law - with it's predictable results - numerous car wrecks - A $750 fiasco that some refer to as art at the city hall - Mayor Lefties library hole - Idling car ordinance ....and my leaves still can't get picked up.

Rod Johnson

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

Now what committees will Rapundalo get appointed to by the mayor?

Rod Johnson

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 6:12 p.m.

Don't forget Joan Lowenstein on the DDA or, until recently, Jean Carlberg on the Planning Commission.


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

Maybe he will join Leigh Greden on the Housing Commission or Wendy Woods on the Planning Commission.

Kai Petainen

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

correction. he'll be quite engaged.

Kai Petainen

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 3:59 a.m.

he'll still do well post city hall. he has a lot of connections, he should be quite fine.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 1:53 a.m.

Didn't even think about that! The DDA no doubt.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 1:45 a.m.

Let this be a warning to the mayor and the rest of his buddies on Council.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 1:45 a.m.

Yahoo! Time for a change!