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Posted on Fri, May 7, 2010 : 5:01 p.m.

John Floyd is first and only Republican to file to run for Ann Arbor City Council

By Ryan J. Stanton

John Floyd filed nominating petitions on Thursday to run in the 5th Ward race for the Ann Arbor City Council.

If elected, Floyd would be the first Republican council member since 2005. He argues one-party rule has not served Ann Arbor well.


Ann Arbor City Council hopeful John Floyd

Ryan J. Stanton |

"We need more voices," he said. "I am committed to serving the 5th Ward and the city at large, and am ready and willing to take on the challenges our city faces.”

Floyd currently faces no opponent in the Aug. 3 primary and will move on to the November general election if no other Republican files by Tuesday's deadline.

On the Democratic ticket, multiple challengers are lining up against incumbent Carsten Hohnke. His most serious opponent is Lou Glorie. Allen Licari and Newcombe Clark also have pulled nominating petitions — both independent and Democratic — and are considering running.

Floyd said city government often makes important decisions with little serious public debate or input and he wants to change that.

"A couple years ago, council made the political promise to take a citizen vote before transferring parkland to non-park uses by non-city entities," he said. "The recent decision to build a parking structure for the university in Fuller Park is such a transfer. Citizens’ taxes pay for the parks; citizens should make these decisions, not City Council."

He said the city also delays dealing with important issues rather than taking a proactive approach.

"The recent decision to transfer $2 million from the DDA back to the city’s general fund could have been made months ago — even last summer," he said. "Waiting to approve the transfer at last minute created artificial budget drama, and demoralized city staff with the threat of widespread layoffs."

Floyd's background is in financial and accounting services. In addition to teaching political economy at De Paul University, he has been a budget analyst for the state of Illinois and a financial control professional for business and nonprofit organizations.

He also has served internships with the Michigan House of Representatives and the Congressional Budget Office.

He said he sees Ann Arbor's current budget difficulties as a challenge that he is equipped to overcome. Fiscal responsibility is a key focus of his platform, and he says the city needs to focus on five critical service areas: police, fire, water, sanitation and streets.

Born and raised in Ann Arbor, Floyd is a graduate of Huron High School. A widower, his two sons attend Ann Arbor Public Schools.

He is a supporter of Ele's Place, a center for grieving children. He has a bachelor's degree in economics from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio., master's degrees in public policy from the University of Michigan and in accounting from DePaul University in Chicago.

A self-described outdoorsman, Floyd belongs to Anglers of the Au Sable and participates in efforts to restore and protect the Au Sable River. He also is treasurer of the First Baptist Church of Ann Arbor and leads his son’s Cub Scout den.

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


Aaron Wolf

Wed, Jul 7, 2010 : 10:19 p.m.

I have not supported a Republican before, but I met Mr. Floyd and he seemed to really be fair and understanding about a lot of things. He specifically engaged with me about various concerns. Skeptical as I might be, it goes against my values to dismiss him just because of the party name. I have no other reason to dislike him and I feel he deserves my vote, pending consideration of the merits of other candidates.


Mon, May 10, 2010 : 12:45 p.m.

Mitch, that's just what I'm talking about! You are more than making my case for me. Keep talking! To attribute all kinds of negative things to someone like John Floyd, or me, or anyone else for that matter, just because of the word "Republican" is completely off base. Between you and I, I think they call that stereotyping. And we all know how well that practice works. And by the way, I'm not a Republican. I just want people to actually do their homework and use their brains for a change when it comes to choosing a candidate. Single-party politics and lazy, arrogant lock-step thinking are not working! A little pause (for thought) is just what we need.


Mon, May 10, 2010 : 11:26 a.m.

Wow, this guy actually sounds like someone who is qualified and who has his head in the right place when it comes to city goverment city government, compared to the others. I hope that the 5th Ward is intelligent enough to look at the candidates and their qualifications as individuals, rather than taking the myopic mindset that Mitch touted. "I don't normally vote. Now that I know a Republican is running I'll make sure to vote against him;-)" Mitch's comments pretty much sum up a large portion of what is wrong with Ann Arbor politics.


Mon, May 10, 2010 : 7:01 a.m.

I believe that a republican can have a positive impact on the local level. Diversity is just that. Not the homogenous ivory tower perspectives that dominate city council right now. He has the credentials and could always be voted out during the next election should he prove to be more obstructionist than collaborative. Why not give him the chance to have a positive impact?


Sat, May 8, 2010 : 7 p.m. as in independent perhaps?


Sat, May 8, 2010 : 11:34 a.m.

@Mitch Nothing says "diversity" like an all white one-party city council.


Sat, May 8, 2010 : 10:49 a.m.

Seems like a decent man with a great education who's been a lifelong Ann Arborite...could be a good addition to the CC!


Sat, May 8, 2010 : 9:03 a.m.

I have always felt that the city council should be non-partisan. No need for party politics at such a low local level. Save that for a run for state rep. I'll give this guy a chance mostly because he has an accounting degree. There really needs to be some responsible fiscal decision making during these tough times.


Sat, May 8, 2010 : 9:02 a.m.

A differing point of view can give other a fresh perspective - or at least something to thing about. Allowing - or voting - for a group of people that all think the same way and act the same way is not that healthy for government. It does not accurately represent ALL of the views of those in the community. I find that people who vote strictly along party lines are those who really are not interested in what is best for a community as a whole. They are more interested in a political statement. In this day and age, especially in Ann Arbor, I'd like to think people have enough common sense to really look at what each candidate has to offer and vote for those who offer what is best for the community. No matter what party that person represents. I'd also like to think that those people would also look back at what their government has given them and vote for those who have acted in accordance with what the community needs and wants.


Sat, May 8, 2010 : 8:51 a.m.

Hopefully, most people will be smart enough to listen to what Mr. Floyd has to say, rather than mindlessly voting against his party.


Sat, May 8, 2010 : 8:50 a.m.

Waste of time. AA will be dominated by a small handful of Democratic insiders who do all their "governance" in closed meetings and party caucuses for the foreseeable future. And since the voters in AA seem to be fine with this, party-on Dems! Just don't come complaining to the rest of us for tax increases or crying about budget cuts when you run into problems. You can't blame the other party or the previous administration when we have had single party rule here for more than a decade.


Sat, May 8, 2010 : 8:24 a.m.

Hoo-ray, a little diversity in Ann Arbor. If he runs as a true smaller Government candidate he has a shot a winning. Way to go John!


Fri, May 7, 2010 : 8:58 p.m.

I know John personally. He is a smart, nice, friendly guy with a lot of great ideas - give him a chance.


Fri, May 7, 2010 : 6:38 p.m.

John's fighting an uphill battle with the loose canons on council now. I wish him and any other republicans that step forword good luck. It sure would be nice to at least question some of councils bone head moves


Fri, May 7, 2010 : 6:19 p.m.

I'm jealous. I can't wait until we get a chance to vote for a change in the 2nd Ward as well.


Fri, May 7, 2010 : 6:05 p.m.

It would be a breath of fresh air to have someone with an accounting degree on City Council. Hopefully Ann Arbor residents can look past their deep hatred towards seeing an (R) on the ballot, and actually make a rational choice for once.