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Posted on Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 12:51 p.m.

Carsten Hohnke says he won't seek re-election to Ann Arbor City Council

By Ryan J. Stanton

After nearly four years on the Ann Arbor City Council, Carsten Hohnke announced on Saturday he'll step down at the end of his term later this year.

Hohnke, D-5th Ward, announced the news in an email to his constituents, saying he's proud of the progress the city made during his time on council.

"We started with a plan for improving our neighborhoods, downtown, environment and the infrastructure that connects it all," he said. "With some additional hard work and a touch of luck, by November we'll have accomplished what we set out to do in 2008."


Carsten Hohnke

Hohnke, who has been a close political ally of Mayor John Hieftje, noted that since he first joined council in 2008 he and his wife, Heather, who runs a downtown business, have doubled their family with two young children.

"Oscar will be 4 in November, and Kate will celebrate her first birthday in July. As all new parents do, Heather and I work hard to adjust our lives so that we can spend more time with our family," Hohnke said, citing that as his reason for not seeking re-election this year.

Hohnke said he's sharing the news now so there is ample time for those interested to place their names on the August primary election ballot. The deadline to file is May 15.

Saying "the future of Ann Arbor is looking bright," Hohnke said he's excited to continue serving on the council through October, and then finding new ways to serve the community after the November general election.

No one has officially stepped forward yet to run in the 5th Ward this year, but resident Chuck Warpehoski acknowledges he's considering it.

"I'm definitely considering it," he said. "I just saw Carsten's announcement this morning. I plan on making a decision by Monday, but I am leaning toward it."

Warpehoski is director of the local Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice and a member of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority's district advisory committee for the Ann Arbor area as part of the AATA countywide transit master planning process.

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.


Unusual Suspect

Mon, Apr 23, 2012 : 2:09 a.m.

Let me take this opportunity to remind people that you don't have to vote for candidates just because they have a "D" next to their name. It really is OK to take a step forward and reach for something better for Ann Arbor.


Tue, Apr 24, 2012 : 1:08 a.m.

Then maybe you should go ahead and run.


Sun, Apr 22, 2012 : 8:10 p.m.

Warpehoski will fit right in..............

Unusual Suspect

Mon, Apr 23, 2012 : 12:08 p.m.

Yikes. One look at the ICPJ Website tells me we can do without that guy. That would be a step backwards in the effort to reform and diversify City Council.

Tom Whitaker

Sun, Apr 22, 2012 : 3:23 p.m.

Thank you for your service to the City, Carsten.


Sun, Apr 22, 2012 : 1:01 p.m.

Prince johns " mini me " out ..can the rest of the minions be far behind ? we can only hope....


Sun, Apr 22, 2012 : 12:55 p.m.

goof saves me a vote. bike paths down jackson did it for me?

Dog Guy

Sun, Apr 22, 2012 : 2:29 p.m.

"Goof" works.


Sun, Apr 22, 2012 : 12:55 p.m.

sorry ment good not goof


Sun, Apr 22, 2012 : 11:44 a.m.

We may finally have the opportunity to get someone who will represent the tax payers of this city. We need a diversity of ideas, not just a rubber stamp for the policies of the current city council and mayor.


Sun, Apr 22, 2012 : 11:36 a.m.

Hopefully, he will not be replaced by yet another of hizzoner's lap dogs.


Sun, Apr 22, 2012 : 10:34 a.m.

John Floyd looks to be running again. Good news.


Mon, Apr 23, 2012 : 2:05 p.m.

Now that's good news! I'm very glad to see John running again; he'd be a great representative (I repeat, *representative*) of the Fifth Ward.

Ryan Munson

Sun, Apr 22, 2012 : 3:02 a.m.

It is interesting to see that most of the negative comments here are from those that hide behind monikers. I wish Carsten and Heather great success as a family to raise their kids. Thanks to Carsten for serving on the Ann Arbor City Council for 4 years of community service. Their family is a wonderful family if you have never met them. And I must say they are a family to look up too--living the dream to have a local business in a local town.


Sun, Apr 22, 2012 : 3:46 a.m.

Monikers or not, his failed positions, and constant support of the reviled Mayor despite clear constituent feedback otherwise made him few friends in this community. He clearly saw the writing on the wall and knew this election would be a hard fought battle.


Sun, Apr 22, 2012 : 1:11 a.m.

C-ya! That's one down...


Sun, Apr 22, 2012 : 12:06 a.m.

Excellent news!


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 10:24 p.m.

Finally, Carsten Hohnke is not running for City Council, It's too bad that the rest of his Democrat buddies doesn't do the same this November! We need a little Diversity in City Government!

Gale Logan

Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 9:29 p.m.

Cynic - kind a long stretch to say he bit the dust. He won every election, primary or general by huge margins.

Tom Whitaker

Sun, Apr 22, 2012 : 3:19 p.m.

In the 2008 Democratic primary, Hohnke narrowly defeated Vivienne Armentrout. After two recounts, the final tally was 1608-1555, a margin of only 53 votes.


Sun, Apr 22, 2012 : 5:11 a.m.

Huge margins?!? In the Democrat primary, which is held in the month of August, when all the students and half the rest of the electorate are vacationing, and opposing candidates are few and far between? Because opposition is rarely present, let alone meaningful, the November elections have been little more than a coronation for Boss Hieftje and his chosen few - seems like we had better political process locally when municipal elections were in April. Wonder who changed that? Voters seem so discouraged by the one-party system that barely 20% of registered voters even vote. Given the choices, who can blame them.


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 9:27 p.m.

Thank goodness .... one more of the Mayor's cabal down .... and more to go. The crack widens!


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 8:01 p.m.

Thank you Mr. Hohnke. Here is to hoping that 2 or 3 people with wide range of views step forward. It would be nice to see an election in Ann Arbor based on ideas.


Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 7:38 p.m.

Good riddance... best local news I've heard all week! Another Hieftjeite bites the dust! Keep the pressure up - maybe another one will cave before the election, maybe even the Great Satan himself!?! Ahhhhh... our dreams come true!

Gale Logan

Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 7:01 p.m.

Well Jim. Your post says so much about why many good people have given up on this blog. Constant, unending, negativity. A busy person takes 4 years out of their life to serve the community and all you can say is something crudely negative. It's no wonder he is leaving. Beyond that, good work has been done in this town over the last 10 years in a terrible financial climate. A2 wins more awards than any city I know of and I have been in a lot. It's a great place to live and work and it keeps getting better. Hohnke has been part of that. If your life is so negative Jim, why not keep it to yourself.

Gale Logan

Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 9:27 p.m.

Suspect you're right. Sorry. But his comment was pretty raw.

Unusual Suspect

Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 7:02 p.m.

Gale, that's a pretty negative post there.

Dave Gear

Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 5:54 p.m.

Hohnke has done a great job for the city of Ann Arbor through the worst period for government funding since the 1930's. A2 is doing well and the future looks bright. One of the smartest guys to ever serve. It's great he put time into serving the community.l Good luck!

Kitty O'Brien

Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 6:28 p.m.

AGREE !!!!