Election 2010: 5 incumbents and 2 challengers have pulled petitions for Ann Arbor City Council
A local real estate broker has pulled nominating petitions and may run in the August primary against Ann Arbor City Council Member Carsten Hohnke, D-5th Ward.
Allen Licari, who says he's still considering whether to officially file to run for office, said he's interested in addressing challenges the city faces - including what he sees as problems with the city's court system.
"My experience in Ann Arbor and the family court and with city government, it leaves a lot to be desired," Licari said by phone today. "And so that's my interest in running. I think I could make a difference."
Licari is the second challenger to formally pull petitions for city offices that will appear on the ballot this year.
The other is Patricia Lesko, who plans to challenge long-time Mayor John Hieftje in the August Democratic primary for a chance to move on to the November general election.
Hieftje has not yet pulled petitions.
One council member in each of the five wards also is up for re-election this year. All five have pulled petitions to run again, according to City Clerk Jacqueline Beaudry.
They include Sandi Smith, D-1st Ward, Tony Derezinski, D-2nd Ward, Christopher Taylor, D-3rd Ward, Margie Teall, D-4th Ward, and Hohnke.
With the city's budget in rough shape and some public dissent apparent over decisions made by city leaders, political activists in Ann Arbor are expected to line up challengers in each of the five wards. Licari, who has lived in Ann Arbor for 22 years, isn't tied to any larger efforts under way aimed at ousting the council majority.
Ann Arbor resident Jack Eaton, an attorney and critic of the current council majority, said he expects challengers in every race this year.
"We are putting together a slate of candidates to run against the incumbents who will represent the interests of neighborhoods and a change in budget priorities," he said.
The deadline to file partisan petitions to run for the Ann Arbor City Council is May 11 at 4 p.m.
Ryan J. Stanton covers government for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at email@example.com or 734-623-2529.