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Posted on Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 11:30 a.m.

First Republican contender for Ann Arbor City Council emerges

By Ryan J. Stanton

It might get crowded this year in the race for the 5th Ward seat on the Ann Arbor City Council.

John Floyd, a Republican contender, pulled nominating petitions this morning to seek the seat currently held by Council Member Carsten Hohnke, a Democrat.


John Floyd, the first Republican candidate to emerge in this year's Ann Arbor City Council races, pulls nominating petitions this morning at the city clerk's office.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Hohnke beat Floyd in the 2008 November general election when the two political newcomers were facing off for a seat being vacated by then Council Member Chris Easthope.

If Carsten Hohnke can make it out of the Democratic primary in August, he'll likely face John Floyd again in November.

"I'm looking forward to the race," Floyd said. "I'm looking forward especially to having issues discussed. The most important thing out of any race is making sure all the issues of the day are discussed with some specificity, so people actually have a choice."

Hohnke most likely will be challenged first by Lou Glorie, a Democrat and local real estate agent, in the August primary. Glorie pulled petitions recently but has not yet officially filed.

Hohnke's seat also is being eyed by another challenger, Allen Licari, who recently pulled both Democratic and independent nominating petitions. Licari can file only one set of petitions, so he'll have to decide on party affiliation before he officially files.

The filing deadline is 4 p.m. May 11.

A Huron High School graduate, Floyd has degrees in economics, public policy and accounting and finance from Oberlin College, the University of Michigan and DePaul University.

He has worked as a budget analyst for the state of Illinois and as a financial control professional for nonprofit and business organizations. For about the last decade, he has worked closely with auto supply companies around Southeast Michigan.

Fiscal responsibility is a key focus of his platform, and he says the city needs to focus on five points.

"I think for the city to grow, we need to keep focused on providing the essentials of government," he said. "Sort of like a football team, you have to do the basics well to be a winning team, and to me the basics are providing police, fire, water, sanitation and streets and providing those fully funded and very well. There are other things we like government to do, but I think if you can't do the basics well, you need to return your focus to those."

Floyd, 52, says he doesn't believe a city income tax is the right approach to balance the city's budget. But he thinks the University of Michigan "needs to start thinking about doing the right thing and considering holding the city mostly harmless for its purchase of the Pfizer campus."

Floyd said he returned to Ann Arbor in the mid-1990s after a 15-year hiatus that had him living in the Chicago area. He said the guiding principles for new development should be focused around keeping Ann Arbor a place where families want to live.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government for Reach him at or 734-623-2529.


Janelle Baranowski

Thu, Apr 1, 2010 : 8:18 a.m.

John's website is and it is up and running, albeit in beta-form. @Mr. Cahill- Ditto John's comments. @Everyone else- Full disclosure, I am acting as Campaign Manager for John Floyd. If you would like to assist in any way with the campaign, or if you have any questions or concerns, please sign-up for updates on the campaign website and I will contact you personally.


Thu, Apr 1, 2010 : 7:59 a.m.

@Tony: Thanks for clearing that up. :-) When I first read the "@2" part, I thought Mr. Floyd's post might not meet the guidelines. :-) @DagnyJ: That is the best political idea I've seen in my 13 years in Ann Arbor. @John Floyd: I'm a 5th ward resident, and I'm encouraged by what I've read so far. I agree completely about focusing on the basic services -- but that's no surprise from a Packers fan. :-)


Thu, Apr 1, 2010 : 7:17 a.m.

" me the basics are providing police, fire, water, sanitation and streets and providing those fully funded and very well." This exactly what we need on city council. I may not live in your ward but I will be following up with your campaign to see how I can help! There is still hope for the market place of ideas in Ann Arbor.


Thu, Apr 1, 2010 : 4:37 a.m.

Nice since of humor John, good luck.

John Floyd

Thu, Apr 1, 2010 : 12:07 a.m.

BTW Ryan, in your photo, I love that you caught my reflection in the glass of the clerk's office - very artsy.

John Floyd

Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 11:54 p.m.

@1 Rusty, you're in good company! Many on the Ann Arbor City Council think that we in the 5th ward are all dim bulbs. @2 Jesus Christ: At church, my ministers tell me that if Jesus Christ is against you, you are probably having a bad - a very bad - day. However, my net-savvy teenager tells me that on the internet, not everyone always uses their truly real name. Are you actually THAT Jesus Christ? It would not surprise me if people who like the current direction of city government & who think that one-party government has served us well, support the incumbent. @3 Ryan, hope you enjoyed our conversation as much as I did. @4 UAWISOK: Interestingly, I voted for Jimmy Carter in that election. It was my first time to vote, and the act of voting was a proud moment. It was at King School, near Green Road. Never imagined that I would run for office, myself. @5 XMO: Right now, seems to be unavailable. When it comes back up, in addition to what is on it now, I will continue to add positions & ideas as the season progresses. Thanks for your openness. @6 Some Guy in Ann Arbor: My mom sent you another dollar, didn't she? @7 & 8 DagnyJ and Miss Baranowski: We agree. Uncontested elections are the root of our political/policy dilemmas. I say, better contested non-partisan elections, than non-contested partisan elections. @9 A3Grateful: My mom sent you a dollar as well, I see. Hope the money holds out. @10 David, no doubt I can be accused of many things, but hiding my political identity is not among them. I believe that uncontested elections are the root of our political/policy dilemmas. I support contested non-partisan elections, over non-contested partisan elections. Let us agree to disagree. My best to the Mrs. @11 A2Grateful: We agree. @12Shitavi123: Everything has its season, and now is the season for change. @13 NoWayJose: You could be right - except that I don't TEND to stick out, I DO stick out.


Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 10:01 p.m.

Good luck buddy. There's only one team to play for in this town. Elephants tend to stick out around here.


Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 4:25 p.m.

It's DEFINATELY time for change. The council needs to be more balanced and not so one sided. Time for a mayoral change indeed!!


Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 2:41 p.m.

Or, some folks like Marcia Higgins, switch to being Democrat after being defeated as a Republican. Whatever.. the issues facing the City will benefit from infusion of public SERVANTS concerned with service provision and fiscal responsibility... Democrat, Republican, Independent, doesn't matter. Just stop the folly!

David Cahill

Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 2:18 p.m.

I love it how the Republicans keep wanting to hide their political identities by changing to non-partisan elections. 8-)


Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 2:14 p.m.

rusty shackelford; "Apparently the Ann Arbor GOP is a bunch of dim bulbs if this is the smartest guy then (sic) can get to run." "Floyd has degrees in economics, public policy and accounting and finance from Oberlin College, the University of Michigan and DePaul University. He has worked as a budget analyst for the state of Illinois and as a financial control professional..." Mr. Floyd sounds like a qualified, experienced candidate to me... Ditto DagnyJ's comment.

Janelle Baranowski

Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 1:16 p.m.

@DagnyJ- I couldn't agree more!


Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 1:08 p.m.

Ann Arbor needs to have non-partisan elections for mayor and council. It would eliminate the lock-step party voting that got us the current collection of clowns running the city.

Some Guy in A2

Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 12:38 p.m.

Also in Mr. Floyd's defense, I have had more than one conversation with him and he has always seemed very articulate and intelligent. I would encourage you to actually speak with him before judging based off of one introductory article. For the record, no, I am not a Republican. There is no reason to assume the GOP are all dumb just as you shouldn't assume the Dems are somehow smart.


Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 12:17 p.m.

Will Ann Arbor voters be able to open their minds to someone other than a Democrat? After all of the talk, Ann Arbor voters do not embrace diversity. Look forward to comparing positions of John Floyd versus the Democrats.


Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 12:01 p.m.

Currently I have been holding my nose and voting democratic...time to keep an open mind and seek transparency rather than smoke and mirrors....last republican I voted for was Jerry Ford he was considered a moderate at the time today he would have been an ultra liberal within that party, also open to green,socialists and independents

Ryan J. Stanton

Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 11:03 a.m.

In Mr. Floyd's defense, we sat down for a half hour today and discussed specific issues and his specific stances on them at length. His comments will be included in a more in-depth candidate profile piece as we get closer to August. For now, this initial story is intended only to let you know that he's a contender.