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Posted on Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 11:53 a.m.

Student candidate drops out of 1st Ward race for Ann Arbor City Council

By Ryan J. Stanton

Jaclyn Vresics, who was planning to challenge Ann Arbor City Council Member Sabra Briere in November, has ended her campaign.

Vresics, a University of Michigan film student, was one of three Independent candidates put forward by the newly formed Mixed Use Party, which wants to reform the city's zoning laws.

Will Leaf, co-chairman of the party, relayed a written statement from Vresics via email, stating she's no longer seeking the 1st Ward seat.


Jaclyn Vresics

"Although personal reasons require that I withdraw from the election, the Mixed Use Party has my unwavering support," her statement reads.

"I have full confidence in Conrad (Brown) and Sam (DeVarti) as candidates, and I maintain my belief that the party's platform will bring much needed and beneficial change to Ann Arbor."

DeVarti, an Eastern Michigan University student and lifelong Ann Arborite, is challenging incumbent Stephen Kunselman in the 3rd Ward, while Brown, a U-M student, competes against incumbent Jane Lumm and fellow challenger Kirk Westphal in the 2nd Ward.

Vresics submitted more than 100 voter signatures to the city clerk's office to make her campaign official earlier this year. Because it's past the deadline to withdraw, her name still will appear on the Nov. 5 ballot.

Briere, a Democrat, also must defend her seat against Independent challenger Jeff Hayner, who is actively campaigning and has launched a website at Hayner is a Saginaw native who graduated from U-M in 1987 and has lived in Ann Arbor for 30 years.

He states on his website that he's running because he loves Ann Arbor and he's heard from many people that they're tired of seeing their taxes increase while their services decrease.

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.



Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 10:21 p.m.

Not sure why this party is running someone against Steve Kunselman, one of the independent and intelligent voices on the council. Why not run against one of the mayor's cronies instead? That would highlight relevant issues. Certainly the mayor's "in-group" tried to defeat Steve K. in the primaries. Is this party on the Mayor's side, or what?

Colorado Sun

Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 10:36 p.m.

Hardly, in fact, Sam Devarti's father has served as campaign manager to Steve Kunselman. The Mixed Use Party is primarily intending to promote a comprehensive change in city zoning ordinances without regard to which incumbent may be running.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 8:20 p.m.

Too bad. Our city zoning laws do need reform and i like the young folks seeking to change them. Ann arbor is a bubble and run by folks who are out of touch and out of date

Alan Goldsmith

Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 6:42 p.m.

"Can we trust anything the Mayor tells us?" This was a rhetorical question, right?

Colorado Sun

Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 5:57 p.m.

Jeff Hayner had been nominated to the Art Commission - until he filed petitions to run against Briere and was then advised by the Mayor that the nomination was withdrawn due to Hizzoner's "policy" that city council candidates should not be nominated to municpal boards or commissions. Hmmmm.........that did not stop Hieftje from nominating Sally Hart Petersen to the Disability Commission on August 9, 2012 when she was a City Council candidate in the November election that year, having just defeated Tony Derezenski in a lopsided upset in the Second Ward Democratic primary. Can we trust anything the Mayor tells us?


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 5:11 p.m.

More diversity in candidates and more options is always good. I am sorry she withdrew, I hope she would consider a run again in the future. I wish luck to all the candidates, the town could use a real debate with real options.

Colorado Sun

Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 5:59 p.m.

I met Jackie Vresics - I am glad she filed petitions and will still get votes as she will remain on the ballot - just as Mr. Suarez did in 2008 in the First Ward.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 4:41 p.m.

Thanks for this update Mr. Stanton, and for posting candidate Hayner's web address.