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Posted on Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 9:17 p.m.

Marcia Higgins beats Eric Scheie in 4th Ward race for Ann Arbor City Council

By Ryan J. Stanton

Read Washtenaw County election results here.

With all precincts reporting, Democratic incumbent Marcia Higgins has defeated Republican challenger Eric Scheie in the 4th Ward race for the Ann Arbor City Council.

The vote count is 1,488 to 1,013, giving Higgins 58.8 percent of the vote.

Scheie was one of three Republicans running for seats on council this year, but he was considered by many to be the only with a shot at winning.

Scheie put more than $1,100 of his own money into his campaign and spent that money on signs, leaflets and business cards.


Marcia Higgins


Eric Scheie

As he was going door-to-door, he said he found many residents feel neglected and unrepresented. He also said he heard complaints the incumbent doesn't return phone calls and he expressed disappointment she didn't participated in a candidate debate.

Higgins, a former Republican who has been on council since 1999, was barely re-elected in November 2005, getting 50.7 percent of the vote against Republican Jim Hood. She won by a mere 51 votes out of 2,700-plus cast.

She was re-elected without opposition in November 2007 and re-elected again in November 2009 with 62.1 percent of the vote against Independent challenger Hatim Elhady, a political newcomer and University of Michigan student.

Higgins has listed her accomplishments as working on issues surrounding the redevelopment of Georgetown Mall, the reconstruction of the Stadium bridges, downtown rezoning and new downtown design guidelines. She also helped halt a proposal to allow football parking in Allmendinger and Frisinger parks.

Scheie, an attorney who also manages properties, moved to Ann Arbor a few years ago with his wife, who is working on a Ph.D. in economics at U-M. He bought a house here and also maintains a residence in California, where he's licensed to practice law.

He and the other Republicans campaigned on a platform of realigning the city's spending priorities on basic services like public safety and infrastructure. They were particularly critical of the deep cuts to police and fire services approved by the incumbents.

They also were critical of the city's spending on public art, though Scheie noted his concern is mainly that the city is diverting dollars away from streets, parks and solid waste millages to the public art program, which he called dishonest and possibly illegal.

Higgins actually brought forward a proposal earlier this year to cut spending on public art in half, but a majority of council members voted it down.

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 16, 2011 : 5:26 a.m.

I too am disappointed Marcia was reelected. She was MIA during campaign. What exactly has she done for the Georgetown Mall area? It's still a ghost site.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 2:29 p.m.

Nice going, Ann Arbor voters! Way to reward an absent candidate who didn't even respect voters enough to show up during the campaign.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 2:21 p.m.

Marcia should resign in embarrassment for her failure to campaign, failure to debate, failure to be responsive to her constituency, and for being a "yes" vote on the Mayors cabal !

Alan Goldsmith

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:01 a.m.

Ryan, can you get me a copy of Ms. Higgins picture? We need it for a milk carton, since she was missing during the campaign. Maybe she'll come out of her secret hiding spot now that the election is over?

Kai Petainen

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 4:19 a.m.

Higgins. Congrats!

Kai Petainen

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 6:03 a.m.

I don't have to agree nor disagree with Higgins, to voice a kind and civil congratulations to her. This is an election and people vote and exercise that right to vote, and she won. I respect the voting process, and I congratulate the person that wins. It is completely possible to disagree with someone, yet still have the civility to wish them well, congratulate them when they win, and shake their hand at the end of a game, tournament or poltical competition. She won and I have respect for that. I don't have to agree, but I will do the gentlemanly thing and show respect and give congrats that she won.

Matt B

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

For what? Having enough sheeple in the Ward to get away with being a no-show who disdains her constituents?


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 4:11 a.m.

The very liberal Michigan Daily came out with an endorsement of GOP nominee Eric Scheie in yesterday's edition - citing his commitment to new ideas and also citing an apparent lack of commitment by Higgins. One example cited was her failure to appear at the League of Women Voters debate. The Daily was harshly critical of Marcia's performance as a City Council member and has chosen to endorse her opponents in the last three contested elections. Kudos to the Michigan Daily for telling it like it is. My thanks to Mr Scheie for actually taking the time to campaign, make a debate appearance, and meet constituents like a candidate should. Also a very respectable showing at the polls.


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

Apparently, a cinder block could get elected in the 4th ward as long as it had a "D" listed after it. Let's test it "Vote Cinde R. Block, (D) 4th Ward". See it already got four votes in the time I wrote this.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 5:21 a.m.

Shame to us in Ward 4 for voting Marcia a seat again. She didn't campaign, failed to show for debate, is not responsive, and apparently feels entitled to her position. For Shame. Eric showed what a responsible candidate does during a campaign and displayed qualities we deserve in our City Council Representative. Now we are stuck with a "yes" vote to whatever the Mayor proposes until the next election.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 4:08 a.m.

Although Marcia won, the margin wasn't a landslide. It's time to work for the people.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 3:50 a.m.

Eric Scheie made a respectable showing (40%) and in fact won one of the major Fourth Ward precincts - The Ninth - where he garnered several hundred votes. Not a bad showing for a Tea Party man in Ann Arbor and an improvement over the 36% that progressive libel Hatim Elhady got in 2009 against Higgins. Congratulations to the Invisible Woman!


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

Didn't get the impression the guys was a Tea party Repub... is that how he represented himself?