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Posted on Fri, Aug 28, 2009 : 10:53 a.m.

Recount is complete: Kunselman officially defeats Greden by six-vote margin in Ann Arbor City Council race

By Ryan J. Stanton


Six votes separated Stephen Kunselman from Leigh Greden after initial results were reported earlier this month in the Ann Arbor City Council Democratic primary election.

Today, that number still stands. Kunselman has ousted Greden from his seat by a vote count of 511-505.

Stacks of ballots from the 3rd Ward race were recounted one by one in the basement of the Washtenaw County annex building in downtown Ann Arbor this morning. The results showed one change from those earlier this month: LuAnne Bullingon, the lowest vote getter, picked up one vote and increased her tally to 382.

Kunselman was not present, but his wife, Letitia, and attorney Tom Wieder were there on his behalf with other supporters.

"Steve would have been here except for he's taking his son to college," said Letitia Kunselman. "We're excited. I think the residents of the 3rd Ward have won in this."


Greden exchanged pleasantries and congratulated Letitia Kunselman after the recount was finished. He acknowledged going into it that the odds were against him, but said he went through with the recount at the urging of his supporters.

"For an election this close, it was important to my supporters to ensure accuracy of the outcome and the process worked," Greden said. "I congratulated Letitia Kunselman, who is here on behalf of Steve and I wished her and Steve my best."

The recount got underway at 9:09 a.m. and was finished by about 10:50 a.m. The names of candidates were read aloud as clerks made note of each vote on a set of tally sheets.

The four members of the Washtenaw County Board of Canvassers were present, overseeing the recount. They included Melodie Gable, Wes Vivian, Kim Porter-Hoppe and Ulla Roth.


Also in attendance - a team of tally clerks and representatives from each candidate's campaign.

In Greden's corner were five representatives: City Councilmen Christopher Taylor and Tony Derezinski, County Commissioner Leah Gunn and friends Diane Giannola and Joan Lowenstein.

"My guess is there's no change," Wieder said at the start of the recount, his predictions later proving true. "This is such a clean set of ballots. And there were so few unaccounted for ballots, which is where you usually make up something in a recount."

Others said the same.

"It's a standard recount," said Gable, chairwoman of the Board of Canvassers. "In all honesty, most recounts don't change elections, but people have a right to ask for a recount for verification, and it's important that everybody is satisfied."

Kunselman, a former 3rd Ward city councilman, now advances to the November general election unopposed.

Photos by Ryan Stanton, Photo 1: Supporters of Leigh Greden and Stephen Kunselman watch over as clerks tally vote recounts in the 3rd Ward City Council primary race. Photo 2: Election officials separate counted ballots by precinct. Shown here are ballots from precincts 4 and 7, which were consolidated. Photo 3: Greden compares notes with supporter Joan Lowenstein during the recount.

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



Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 9:35 p.m.

The low turnout and close vote shows that a very small number of people actually control our city. Moving elections from April to November was supposed to increase participation. Instead it resulted in one party rule and primaries with tiny vote totals controlling City Council. Local issues get crowded out during Statewide and National elections. On odd number years very few people bother to vote. We should combine the School Board, Library, and City Council elections in a June elction. Then maybe more than 1500 people will show up to vote.

Denise Heberle

Sat, Aug 29, 2009 : 12:48 p.m.

I am glad the recount went ahead and gladder for the results. I hope it means that this community really wants respectful, honest, open government and public servants who welcome (and actually pay attention to!) the people they represent. I also hope folks realize how important it is that we all step up and take part. Elections are only part of the picture, I know, but the turnout was astonishingly low in this one. We get exactly the government we deserve. Let's keep demanding better!


Sat, Aug 29, 2009 : 9:08 a.m.

Congratulations to the Kunselman family!

Matt Van Auker

Sat, Aug 29, 2009 : 8:43 a.m.

Go, Steve, Go!!!


Sat, Aug 29, 2009 : 6:40 a.m.

I think you should take a different look. Ann Arbor as I have ever knownsince the 60's was about Community. People helping people. Neighbors helping neighbors. Its gone and why we allow have allowed our City officials to speak for "Our Community and look at what has happened. All charm demolish. All community demolish. You go and sit in on meetings when they say. If you ever have a tragedy like the trees taking your vehicles out or sewage damage. Get a Lawuer. They need to be audited. They jump from one thing to another and never finish I am still waiting 3 years to have my side walks fixed after being threathen to complete there time frame.This is a violation of Americans with Disability Act. I am waiting for those trees. No money? As everyday I see a new U of M sign. Differnet rules, different laws for different people.NO but here it is still happening. Shame on you City Officals Shame. Reported all over the news once again our town under scrunity? Why people don't care becuase half the population comes and goes.


Sat, Aug 29, 2009 : 12:16 a.m.

Leigh Greden was a dedicated and hardworking Council representative. I voted for him in the recent election. While his faults were overblown, his dedication to his constituents was overlooked. I know because I'm on the Board of Directors of a large Condo community in his ward. When invited to our Board meetings or to meet with residents, Leigh was invariably there. Kunselman graced us with his presence but once. Once, in two years. And this despite his (Kunselman) having used our annual meeting to deliver a lengthy campaign speech. Hopefully, Kunselman's track record will be much improved during his next term.


Sat, Aug 29, 2009 : 12:06 a.m.

I sure am glad I voted even tho I had a bad migraine.


Fri, Aug 28, 2009 : 1:48 p.m.

So does this mean that Greden has to get his own laptop now, or does he get to keep the city's computer as a consolation prize?

Ann Arbor Resident

Fri, Aug 28, 2009 : 11:25 a.m.

It is good to democracy working as it is supposed to. Congratulations to Mr. Kunselman and to the other two candidates for a good election. I believe the margin would have been larger if Ms. Bullington had not been a candidate.


Fri, Aug 28, 2009 : 11:06 a.m.

That seemed like the most likely outcome. I'm nonetheless pleased that we had the recount and the processes of democracy are in tact.