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Posted on Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 9:05 p.m.

Anglin beats Elyakin in 5th Ward Democratic primary race for Ann Arbor City Council

By Ryan J. Stanton


Neal Elyakin is consoled by campaign supporter Dolcy Garfield at Arbor Brewing Co. after losing the 5th Ward primary race to Council Member Mike Anglin Tuesday night.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Ann Arbor City Council Member Mike Anglin, D-5th Ward, expressed confidence before Tuesday's Democratic primary. He said he's popular in his ward and he knows it.

And so perhaps it wasn't surprising to Anglin when the final results came back Tuesday night and it turned out he beat Democratic challenger Neal Elyakin 1,088 to 562.

Anglin, a resident of Ann Arbor for nearly two decades and a council member since 2007, now goes on to compete against Republican Stuart Berry in November for a chance to stay in office two more years. However, Republicans rarely win council races in Ann Arbor.


Mike Anglin

"I'm really pleased with the outcome and I'm glad I got the support I got," Anglin said, though he expressed some disappointment in Tuesday's light voter turnout.

Anglin said he's going to continue to ask the tough questions on council in regard to the Fuller Road Station project, which is proposed for construction on a portion of Fuller Park.

"We're working very deeply on Fuller Park and a number of people are working very hard trying to figure out what that project is about," he said.

Anglin said he also wants to use his next term to champion the idea of a community commons on the Library Lot, the site along Fifth Avenue where an underground parking garage is being built by the Downtown Development Authority.

Anglin thinks instead of major development — such as the recent conference center proposal that was defeated — it should be a space for the public to enjoy.

"We really need a center for our town," he said. "People have to know this is where the town gets together, this is where the town meets. We could even have high school graduations on this spot. We could make this something."

Anglin, who celebrated his victory at Wolverine Brewing, also said he'll use his next term on council to try to protect funding for the police and fire departments.

A retired school teacher and electrician, Anglin runs a bed and breakfast called the First Street Garden Inn in Ann Arbor with his wife, Kathy.

Elyakin is special education supervisor for the Washtenaw Intermediate School District and a member of the city's Human Rights Commission.

In his quest to unseat Anglin, Elyakin had political backing from known allies of the council majority that Anglin is sometimes at odds with. Anglin has earned a reputation for being a minority voice on council and has been perhaps the most vocal critic of the Fuller Road Station project, which Mayor John Hieftje and other members of the council majority support.

Elyakin said he was expecting to win until he lost.

"I think I ran a really good campaign," he said. "I have a lot of people around me who had great ideas. I met a lot of people, I had great conversations with neighbors, with friends. I was able to get out my message so that people heard it. I think I did very well."

Read all Ann Arbor election coverage here.

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, Aug 10, 2011 : 12:40 a.m.

I compliment both Mike Anglin and Neal Elyakin for running good campaigns that were untainted by the totally irrelevant non-issues with which two posters kept baselessly trying to color and taint this primary while reading into its results a completely imaginary analysis. And, if one of those posters by saying "in closing" actually means that this is his/her last word on this thread, that is something in which I am quite certain the readers of and most of the voters of the 5th Ward can take much satisfaction.


Tue, Aug 9, 2011 : 8:35 p.m.

In closing, I just want to thank all the voters who went out and ensured Mike Anglin would be returned to his seat. The margin of victory illustrates how highly he is thought of in the Fifth Ward.


Tue, Aug 9, 2011 : 11 p.m.

Indeed it does...just as this thread and the MIchigan Daily one shows how the opposite is true regarding some of his one-issue obsessive advocates here ,of whom Anglin is not in the least supportive, as i know to a certainty.


Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 5:28 a.m.

Your rebuttal fails, Roadman. To cite as a model for any rational argument Henry Herskovitz, discredited by the vast majority of those who have witnessed his tactics over the years, the leader of a 7+ year siege of a local synagogue, is a non-starter. So Mr. Herskovitz and Ms. Armentrout said Neal Elyakin has an Israeli flag in front of his house. As Mr. Herskovitz's house—as well as everything that covers his body—is festooned with a Palestinian flag, such testimony smacks of crass hypocrisy. Even so, this doesn't bar him from running for office if chooses to do so. The major difference between a disingenuous "witness" such as Mr. Herskovitz and a legitimate political candidate, i.e., Mr. Elyakin, is that the latter doesn't bring his support of Israel into local campaigns while the former brings his obsessive hatred for Israel into _everything_ no matter how inappropriate. Because a handful of folks keeps trying to make the Israeli-Arab conflict part of this campaign, doesn't actually make it so. When you mention anti-Israel activists and their endorsement of Mike Anglin, I would like you to demonstrate that Mike Anglin himself has ever gone, or is willing to go, _on record_ that he in turn supports their cause such as the utterly failed PFC boycott attempt. If you can't, it proves that both Mr. Anglin and Mr. Elyakin stuck strictly to proper city governmental concerns, while it is inappropriate for 5 or so people to keep trying to make the Middle East an issue in this campaign especially when neither candidate did so. What really makes your argument fall totally flat is that contrary to your statement of 8-7-2011, 10:04 PM, Neal never once mentions the words _Israel,_ _Arab,_ _Palestinian,_ _Middle East,_ or anything remotely related to these topics on his campaign website and, most tellingly, these aren't in the issues part of that site. It is only an issue for those who are obsessed with it and bring it into every discussion, no matter how off-the-mark.


Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 3:35 a.m.

A reader presents 2 URLs to try to bolster assertions that Neal Elyakin's recent run for the Democratic nomination for City Council in Ward 5 had some correlation to the Middle East. The 1st link lists donors to Mr. Elyakin's campaign. The 2nd is the June-July 2010 online edition of _Congregation Shaarey Zedek Recorder,_ newsletter of a Southfield, MI synagogue. Whether one reads the item referenced therein or not and whether one checks the list of donors to the candidate in question or not, the fact that any of those—in this case 3—who made donations to Mr. Elyakin's primary campaign fund were honored at an Israel Bonds Tribute Brunch is of no import to this campaign. As long as donations were made legally and donors haven't funded anything criminal, it is utterly of no consequence what other perfectly legitimate causes they support whether that sits well with certain critics or not. This has no bearing on the campaign in the 5th Ward. Efforts to create controversies where none exist are misguided at best and specious at worst. Will the reader reveal all the extra-curricular causes of Mr. Anglin's financial supporters, too? I would bet that more than one of _those_ donors have given cash to and/or espoused causes that would not resonate with some of the electorate and/or amateur analysts on this thread, perhaps even the 2 who relentlessly carp about anyone who is pro-Israel particularly in such an inappropriate situation. How many times must it be stated that neither Mr. Anglin nor Mr. Elyakin ever made an issue of the Middle East in this recent electoral showdown for it to sink in? It is high time that the odd reader/commenter—for whom this appears to be an overriding concern—cease these endeavors to smear Mr. Elyakin for other lawful interests that he and some of his donors may share. The chronic attempts to tie a problem that has nothing to do with a municipal council primary election have been thoroughly, continuously, effectively, and methodically quashed.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 11:46 a.m.

How many times can it be exposed—apparently in vain to certain readers—that this primary election had _absolutely_ _nothing whatever_ to do with the one track-issue which "Controversy" with a chorus of one from Roadman keeps trying to insert where it has no relevance whatever? Once again, what the results of this primary prove is this and only this: that a fairly reasonable and popular incumbent with the backing of such celebrated local figures as former Rep. Lynn Rivers in an election with an extremely low turnout could fairly easily overcome a challenge from a decent, first-time candidate who was not all-that-well-known but still polled fairly well, given all the factors specified just above. That, and nothing more. Others who do so are either being mean-spirited and malicious and/or demonstrating a truly uncontrollable obsession. If they really think Mr. Anglin's victory is a triumph for their cause, let them show conclusively and _on the record_ that he concurs. Otherwise, it's time to change the topic and move on as most of the rest of us have.


Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 10:40 a.m.

roadmans...Living as we do in a fine medical community, in addition to the help out there for OCD there is also help for deafness if only the sufferer reaches out to take it, (like the author of THE FEW AND THE JUST. in the expose of those you front for by a defector from their tiny cult....but again you know this , and the author, already)


Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 2:04 a.m.

@Contremilice: Thank you for your continuing interest in this primary election. Let me rebut some of your arguments. Firstly, the election had a certain relevance to the Israel-Palestine issue since Henry Herskovitz went before City Council during public commentary one evening and raised the issue, identifying himself as a Fifth Warder, and mentioned Neal Elyakin and his flying of a flag of Israel in front of his home; Vivienne Armentrout earlier had mentioned being a neighbor of Neal's and seeing such a flag displayed in front of his house. Neither Henry nor Vivienne cited this as any factor in supporting Mike Anglin and, in fact, Henry endosed neither candidate in the election, to my knowledge, although Vivienne endorsed Mike. Secondly, several well-known individuals involved in Israel-Palestine issues did endorse Mike Anglin and are disclosed as such on his campaign website. These would include Alan and Odile Haber, sponsors of the "Megiddo Project" in Israel as well as Mrs. Anne Remley, a Quaker who organized the petition drive to place on the ballot a boycott of Israeli products at the People's Food Co-op. How their respective endorsements were motivated may be speculation - but I would venture it is doubtful they would endorse Neal Elyakin given his record on Israel-Palestine issues. Clearly Mr. Elyakin made his service in pro-Israel organizations an issue by obliquely mentioning it on his website and did as well by mentioning such service in an article on Neal's past. I see nothing wrong with such discussion nor mking it an isue in the political processes as has been done.


Sat, Aug 6, 2011 : 1:39 a.m.

Mike Anglin wins by another landslide. Why did the Mayor not endorse Elyakin? Why did Neal Elyakin not make an attempt to publically rebut the probing issues raised by "Controversy"? Why did Mr. Elyakin not make an attempt to respond to the e-mail brouhaha in the AADL race that Vivienne Armentrout has cited? Why did Neal not campaign harder? Why didn't Neal brush up on the history and operation of the Downtown Development Authority? Those questions represent the difference between a true contender respcted by the electorate and some candidate who finishes 30% behind the winner.


Sat, Aug 6, 2011 : 11:14 a.m.

These matters have been amply addressed above to your doppleganger and on a concurrent Michigan daily you are well aware. There's help out there for OCD.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 2:38 a.m.

As is typical when an argument is discredited, one resorts to more out-of-context quotes and makes up one's own "facts" to try to bolster a failing, irrelevant argument as is the "reader" who states: "Mr. Elyakin wrote the following words urging support for Israel's military as it went into Gaza: 'Let Israel do what it does; let Israel take on Hamas and the terrorist government in a way that will dismantle the infrastructure in Gaza that supports the terror state.' When combating attacks on one's territory, i.e., 1,000s of Qassam rockets that "innocent" Palestinians aim indiscriminately at civilian populations in southern Israel since 2005 as Gaza's terrorist rulers do, what should they expect, the other cheek? This important context, cause and effect, is something the "reader" conveniently omits. If Windsor, Ontario started lobbing missiles and mortars on a daily basis at his/her home, would "Controversy" be happy if our military just ignored it? Even Hamas admits the huge majority of fatalities in the battles between the IDF and Gaza forces were armed fighters. And Hamas inflated those figures by using the cover of war to murder large numbers of its Fatah rivals, even those in hospitals. How's that for some real context? Indeed, Israel had to do what it did to defend innocent lives in its own territory just as any sovereign state would if its citizens were under siege. "Again, that may help the reader to understand why Mr. Elyakin lost his election campaign by so many votes," says "Controversy." Yet again, one must remind the controversy-stirring reader that Mr. Elyakin's loss has absolutely nothing to do with what goes on in the Middle East. Attempts to state otherwise are specious. And again, in a primary against a popular incumbent, Mr. Elyakin in his first run for elected office, did very well indeed. It would behoove the reader above to cease trying to insert a truly irrelevant issue into a local campaign where neither of the candidates did.


Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 11:11 p.m.

moderators: i know you ( and certainly I ) have had more than a bellyful of dealing with threads that try to intrude skewed views of international politics, like " controversy's" ( whose screen name speaks for itself, although he uses others) into local affairs. I will not substantively address the absurdity of his latest post which is a totally off- kilter reading of both a local election and of a war Israel didnt start ( although to its great credit it did kick some serious butt , mostly among patent non -"innocents" , although the truly innocent were themselves put in harms way by the Hamas militants among them--for whom the majority of Gazans voted, to their misfortune-- and to their responsibility). Israel was then ,and is now ,an american ally and it is perfectly appropriate for a prospective city councillor to reflect that fact. Indeed were he to be a backer of a group our country has designated as terrorists, only the "Contoversy"s among us would find that somehow worthy . And their own feeble attempts to stand for assorted office ( which make Elyakin's loss look like a statistical victory) have repeatedly shown that they are a scorned and tiny minority .... alhamdullilah/thank god.


Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 7:38 p.m.

It appears "Controversy" takes Neal Elyakin's blog quote out of context. What Neal Elyakin is saying is that the idea of a modern but historical-based "Palestinian" nationality was invented _after_ the creation of the modern State of Israel in 1948 and was not forcefully pressed until after 1967 to try to discredit his recent primary campaign. Maybe Mr. Elyakin didn't say it in so many words, but I see that he implicitly means that the actual _myth_ is that there is an _ancient_ Palestinian _ethnicity_ that automatically bestows primogeniture to this "ancient" Palestinian people based on a continuous, unbroken chain of habitation in the Land of Israel that is thousands of year old. And, _that_ indeed _is_ a myth. Neal Elyakin offers a thorough, largely factual analysis with detailed background at <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> where you need to scroll down to "Sunday, March 22, 2009/My response to Congirl – 'Being Real About the Mid-East'" Anything in the citation from Elyakin's lengthy historical blog post that remotely resembles "Controversy's" allegation is undoubtedly filtered through the prism of an out of context approach like that of the local synagogue harassers (of over seven years) whose usual frontmen/women have been covered with disrepute on this site and wherever their activities are known. Anyhow, it needs to be forcefully reiterated that inserting the Middle East debate into this _municipal_ primary election campaign—where it rightfully played no part and was not raised by either candidate—is irrelevant, unwarranted, and an effort to smear a decent challenger who ran a very viable first campaign and received a respectable vote total. Congratulations to Mike Anglin and Neal Elyakin for their fine campaigns without either having launched a single attack on each other. Shame on those who try to fan the flames of ethnic and religious discord and create non-existent controversies with highly inappropriate, unrelated international issues in a city primary.


Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 7:44 p.m.

[In editing my remarks above down, I inadvertently pasted a clause in the wrong place and therefore muddying the meaning; Below is how the first paragraph should read; sorry for the error]. It appears &quot;Controversy&quot; takes Neal Elyakin's blog quote out of context to try to discredit his recent primary campaign. What Neal Elyakin is saying is that the idea of a modern but historical-based &quot;Palestinian&quot; nationality was invented _after_ the creation of the modern State of Israel in 1948 and was not forcefully pressed until after 1967. Maybe Mr. Elyakin didn't say it in so many words, but I see that he implicitly means that the actual _myth_ is that there is an _ancient_ Palestinian _ethnicity_ that automatically bestows primogeniture to this &quot;ancient&quot; Palestinian people based on a continuous, unbroken chain of habitation in the Land of Israel that is thousands of year old. And, _that_ indeed _is_ a myth.


Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 5:56 p.m.

"Controversy" seems to be trying very hard to manufacture a controversy and a false issue where neither one exists/existed in the 5th Ward primary. I challenge this commenter to show us where Neal Elyakin stated anywhere at any time that "Palestinians are a myth." Although Mr. Elyakin debunks numerous myths in his blog, nowhere did he ever say that there is no such thing as Palestinians. I often find myself wondering why it is that those who are preoccupied with single issues completely irrelevant to both this race and the City of Ann Arbor, keep trying to interject their issue in attempts to discredit a viable candidate. If you desire to attack an aspirant for a municipal office, kindly use applicable _factual_ information to back up your remarks. Otherwise, such comments have absolutely no relevance here.


Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 7:05 p.m.

those 'controversy' clearly supports have a much more shady and noxious record of middle east in the preposterous oft -repeated rant ( by the likes of local synagogue harassers to fired reporter helen thomas to the&quot;moderate &quot; palestinian authority&quot;)that jews have no historical place in the middle east and should all go back to poland. Anglin--an otherwise worthy council member---needs to wake up to the realities of how these people have tried to taint and piggyback on his candidacy and , per the Michigan Daily op ed i referred to in my own post here, explicitly distance himself from them.


Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 5:44 p.m.

Congrats Mike! As I told you on Sunday, being honest about making a mistake will get my vote every time. I like your push backs on the established wisdom, too. We dont need &quot;yes men&quot;, we need independents.


Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 1:06 p.m.

It's great to see that both dissident voices - Anglin and Kunselman - won re-election. Now, let's see what we can do to get rid of Hieftje and his other supporters.


Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 12:57 p.m.

Both Mr. Elyakin and Mr. Anglin seem to care about the city of Ann Arbor--and both had important things to offer regarding its future. I was impressed that Mr. Elyakin was able to foster a great dialogue about the issues without being negative about his opponent. I like that Mr. Anglin asks important questions of the majority, so that at least some of the policy discussions happen in public--that is a difficult thing with a single party system, no matter how well-meaning the people involved--and I think we have a dedicated mayor and great group of council members. But, I believe that our leaders and all of our Council members need to believe in the future of our city--and need to work hard to figure out how to define and develop our unique niche so that our city continues to grow and prosper. I think Mr. Elyakin's candidacy added quite a bit to that important conversation--I hope that conversation continues at the Council table.

Bertha Venation

Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 12:35 p.m.

Congrats, Mike! I like Mike because he is not inside the City Council &quot;Club&quot; and thinks for himself.


Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 11:44 a.m.

&quot;contoversy'', posting under a different screenname on a concurrent MICHIGAN DAILY op ed thread on the Daily's candidate choices has been pointedly rebutted on that thread as to his delusional foreign policy related notions in regard to the anglin/elyakin race. Anglin was a decent incumbant and not surprisingly won , although Elyakin got a respectable turnout for a challenger. End of story.


Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 4:04 a.m.

I guess if I were a candidate I wouldn't have my election night party at Arbor Brewing. That's the venue for losers (Ault and Elyakin)


Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 4:25 a.m.

Rapundalo held his election night party there as well. What's your point?

Vivienne Armentrout

Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 3:12 a.m.

It is notable that Mr. Elyakin's party was held at the Arbor Brewing Company. These non-Ann Arbor residents have consistently supported the Council Party candidates for years now. Mike Anglin's party was held at Wolverine Brewing, a 5th ward business. Good lager, too.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 8:11 p.m.

@ms.armentrout.....a pretty mean spirited and glib comment from a public figure( who i am aware has a past personal axe to grind with elyakin...but really!!)


Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 4:53 p.m.

So there is a distinction between an A2 business owner who lives in the city vs an A2 business owner who lives elsewhere?

Steve McKeen

Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 2:29 p.m.

Who cares were the owerns of ABC live? What I care about is they supported Snyder in a big way financially to the tune of $5K in contributions. I'll drink my beer in a place that doesn't support the illegal take-over of cities thankyouverymuch.


Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 1:46 p.m.

Really? You're going to attack the owners of ABC because they may not live in Ann Arbor -- I don't know where they live, Ypsilanti maybe? -- but have run a business in Ann Arbor for years, paying Ann Arbor taxes, and employing local people? Rebecca Warren has held her election night parties at ABC. Does that mean she's tied to these nefarious out-of-towners? Jeff Irwin has too. Same for him. Huh?


Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 1:36 a.m.

Yippeee!! Congratulations, Mike!!