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Posted on Tue, Aug 7, 2012 : 8:30 p.m.

Teall beats Eaton in 4th Ward race for Ann Arbor City Council

By Ryan J. Stanton

With all nine precincts reporting, Democratic incumbent Margie Teall has defeated Democratic challenger Jack Eaton in the 4th Ward primary race for the Ann Arbor City Council.

The final vote count was 866-848, giving Teall 50.5 percent.


Margie Teall, D-4th Ward, was relieved to pull off a close win against challenger Jack Eaton.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Cheers erupted at Heidelberg in Ann Arbor, where Teall was surrounded by supporters, as the final precinct counts rolled in at about 9:45 p.m.

Teall beat Eaton two years ago, pulling 69 percent of the vote, and it looks like she'll triumph again. The winner advances unopposed to the November general election.

Eaton, a labor attorney, has been heavily critical of the city for cutbacks in public safety over the past several years and said the city has its spending priorities out of whack.

He said during his campaign he'd push for more staffing in the police and fire departments and that the proposal to close fire stations alarms him.

"Ward 4 residents tell me city hall needs to focus on sensible priorities: Safety, public services and infrastructure," he said during the campaign. "I'm running because I believe Ward 4 residents deserve responsive leadership. I will answer your emails. I will return your phone calls, promptly."

Teall said during the campaign she's not an expert on fire department organization, so she's going to listen carefully to the advice of Fire Chief Chuck Hubbard, who recently recommended closing stations to better concentrate the department's limited staffing resources.

"Ann Arbor is doing extremely well in just about every measure for a city of its size," Teall said during the campaign. "We have just experienced our best budget year since I've been in office. We are now hiring back in our safety services area to fill police and fire positions."

Eaton said repeatedly during the campaign that he wanted to bring a more independent voice to council. He believes a majority of council members come to meetings with their minds made up.

Teall, who has been on council since 2002 and is a close ally of Mayor John Hieftje, argued the city values public process and is open and transparent.

The campaign brought out distinct differences between the two candidates. Teall is a big supporter of the concept of building a new train station in Ann Arbor, as well as expanding public transit services countywide — two ideas Eaton has his doubts about.

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.



Thu, Aug 9, 2012 : 1:25 a.m.

Congratulations! See you in 2 years!


Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 3 p.m.

I voted for Teall in the past but I haven't seen any substantive action from her over her last couple of terms. She's functioned as little more than a rubber stamp for Hieftje — when she bothered to show up. We can only hope that Teall will correctly interpret her tiny margin of victory as a message that her constituents would like to see a more active, independent, and responsive approach to governance from their councilperson. We didn't manage to oust her this time, but we surely will do so next time if she continues to do nothing to distinguish herself from the Hieftje alliance.


Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 1:49 p.m.

Jack may not have won, but the fact that he only lost by 18 votes sends a clear message to the mayor and Margie - watch your step, or next time it'll all be over. This sends a crystal clear message. I hope they get it, but I doubt they will. Too busy advancing their "agenda", to see the electorate moving in a different direction. One more election cycle should finish the house-cleaning at Hieftje Hall.


Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 1:18 p.m.

Man, talk about close. Well, a big disappointment.

Dog Guy

Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 1:15 p.m.

A great victory for Landslide Margie!


Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 10:53 a.m.

Although Teall won, she barely won. Hopefully she will get the message that the citizens of Ann Arbor expect more. The mayor appears to have lost his majority control, perhaps paving a way for Ann Arbor to move forward.


Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 10:08 a.m.

As I predicted, the majority of AA voters love this mayor and most of city council. In the AA eyes, they can do no wrong. Unless a majority mobilizes, they will not be beaten.


Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 3:13 p.m.

The mayor was unopposed, so no one else to vote for in this PRIMARY election. The significance of this election is that the Hieftje-ites lost their majority on council for the first time in recent memory. He will no longer be able to do whatever he wants.


Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 4:24 a.m.

Why would anyone vote for someone who is so unresponsive to voters?


Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 4:48 a.m.

I live in her district and she has responded to me on 3 separate occasions just this year. She goes above and beyond in trying to be open and responsive to the people in her district and we (my entire family of 4 included) voted for her because of this. She is a great voice for my district and I thank her!


Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 3:18 a.m.

Recount, recount - couldn't take very long with so few voting!


Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 3:09 a.m.

Sickening result !


Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 2:41 a.m.

Glad to have voted for you Margie. You deserved to win!


Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 5:27 p.m.

Brimble, That's a fair comment. Though, I do happen to stand with her and Mayor Hieftje on the issues as well. There really has only been one issue that I have had with this council (the pedestrian safety ordinance) and for me this has been a very big issue -- it's just so unbelievably stupid. By and large though, I think this council and mayor have done a good job and I commend them for it. However, I understand where you're coming from if you do not agree with the issues they stand for. The 4th ward was obviously very split this year -- Margie even talked about that after she won. I think there is merit to both sides of the debate and although I'm glad Margie won, I'm also glad some members of council who ordinarily side with the mayor were ousted. I believe dissension creates better results than a council of sycophants. At the end of the day we all want what is best for the city of Ann Arbor and hopefully the new council members and incumbents will keep that in mind as they make decisions going forward. They will have to work together now to accomplish that goal and I really do believe this will lead to better results for the city of Ann Arbor.


Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 4:46 p.m.

@GoBlue1984 - I don't ask this with any malice -- so is it fair to say that you voted for her because of what might be described as 'constituent services' rather than where she stands on issues or what she has done or not done on council? I also live in the 4th, and voted for Mr. Eaton on issues; I respect that Ms. Teall has been a good representative for your family, but I don't feel that she has been a good representative for the ward or for the city.


Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 2:27 p.m.

If she responded that much you must be advocating 5% for art or something similar.


Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 1:34 p.m.

I live in her district and she has responded to me on 3 separate occasions just this year. She goes above and beyond in trying to be open and responsive to the people in her district and we (my entire family of 4 included) voted for her because of this. She is a great voice for my district and I thank her!


Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 12:25 p.m.

I'm genuinely curious as to why you believe that - what about her performance or platform earn your support?


Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 2:28 a.m.

Ryan, You reported the vote count is 866-841 in the 5th ward race. The vote count is 866-841 in the 4th ward race in this article. Both correct, or typo? Thanks!

Ryan J. Stanton

Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 9:24 a.m.

Not sure when or how it showed up like that, but if it did, sorry for the temporary confusion. The numbers in each of the stories now are the final numbers as posted on the county's website. The final vote count in the 5th Ward was 1,709-1,320, giving Warpehoski 56.3 percent.


Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 2 a.m.

Another 2 years of 'Teall missing in action". or more aptly put - Heiftje mouthpiece.


Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 1:51 a.m.

Very, very disappointing.

Frustrated in A2

Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 1:39 a.m.

So it looks like we're going to be stuck with Teall for 2 more years....


Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 1:49 a.m.

Yes, you're not the only one frustrated in A2 tonight...more of the same from Margie. :[


Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 1:33 a.m.

Bummer... in this case I would rather take my chances with the unknown Eaton, we know where we stand with Teall, unrepresented.


Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 2:26 p.m.

The majority of the 10% (or whatever) who bothered to vote? Thanks to all you people out there who didn't vote. 2% for art here we come.


Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 10:09 a.m.

The majority has spoken.

Bryan Ellinger

Wed, Aug 8, 2012 : 1:53 a.m.

Bummer is right. More of the same.