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2015 Elections

The Ann Arbor City Council is composed of 10 Council members and the Mayor. The City is divided into five Wards, each of which has two representatives on Council. Each year, one of the two Council members from each Ward is up for election. Council elections begin with party primaries in August. Typically, the winner of the Democratic Party primary runs unopposed in the fall election. The extreme positions of the national Republican Party have hurt the ability of moderate Ann Arbor Republicans to win elections.

In recent years, former moderate Republicans such as Stephen Rapundalo, Marcia Higgins and Jane Lumm have left that party. Rapundalo and Higgins became Democrats, while Lumm runs as an Independent.

This year, we will also have a May election. That ballot will include, at least, a proposal to raise the state sales tax from 6% to 7% to fund long overdue road repairs. It is possible other items will apear on that May ballot and we will update this page if that happens.

Non-Partisan Elections?
Council members Jane Lumm and Kirk Westphal are each working on proposals to amend the Ann Arbor City Charter to allow for non-partisan elections. Council member Lumm has circulated a draft of her proposal
In summary, Lumm's proposal would:
  • the method for electing the Ann Arbor Mayor and City Council members would be changed from a partisan basis to a non-partisan basis
  • elections for Mayor and City Council would be conducted in November – August primary elections would be eliminated
  • nominations would be by petition
  • terms of office for Mayor and Council members would remain at 2 years
  • Mayoral elections would remain in even numbered years and council member elections would remain staggered – one member of each ward elected in even numbered years and one member elected in odd numbered years.
Changing local election structure requires amending the city charter which must be approved by voters. Council can place a question on the ballot by a 3/5 vote of its members (7 affirmative votes).  For a ballot question to be included on the November 3, 2015 ballot, the state’s certification deadline is August 11, 2015.  This resolution likely will be placed on the July 20th council agenda for council consideration.

2015 Council Elections
Nomination petitions for the August primary were due on or before April 21, 2015. Five neighborhood friendly incumbents are up for election this year: Sabra Briere (Ward 1), Jane Lumm (Ward 2), Stephen Kunselman (Ward 3), Jack Eaton (Ward 4) and Mike Anglin (Ward 5). Some of the challengers are being supported by Greg Pratt, a member of MISSION, a group that advocates tent encampments within the city. It is yet to be determined whether those challengers who receive Pratt's support will disclose whether they will support establishing illegal encampments for those who have no homes or other shelter.
Candidate Forums
City Council candidates have and will meet in debates or other forums. Here are some:

April 11, 2015 mLive - Ann Arbor council candidates weigh in on affordable housing, police shooting, city elections. The article covers a candidate forum held by former Mayor John Hieftje. Video can be found here:

June 15, 2015 mLive - Hear what 6 candidates for Ann Arbor City Council have to say. The article includes vidoe of the Ann Arbor Democratic Party candidate forum.

On June 29, the League of Women Voters held two candidate forums, which were broadcast live on Community Television Network Channel 19. The video will be available on-line after June 29th at

November Council races have party primary winners and unaffiliated candidates on the ballot. It is rare for the Republicans to have an August primary, but occasionally a Republican candidate will run in the fall election. Independent candidates run against the primary winners, if ther is a primary.

Ward 1

Ward 2
  • Jane Lumm (I) incumbent (neighborhood friendly)
Ward 3

Ward 4

Ward 5

August Primary
The local wiki site for Ann Arbor has a page dedicated to listing those who have pulled petitions to run for City Council and the status of those petitions: Petitions for Ann Arbor Elected Office: Status.

On June 15, 2015, posted an article that includes videos of the June 13 Ann Arbor Democratic Party candidate forum for the Ward 3, 4, and 5 primary candidates: Hear what 6 candidates for Ann Arbor City Council have to say.

Ward 1
November 8, 2014 mLive - Will Leaf plans to seek 1st Ward seat.

Ward 2
  • Sally Petersen (D) former one-term Council member, unsuccessful Mayoral candidate.
Ward 3
February 23, 2015 Michigan Daily - Student announces candidacy for City Council.
February 24, 2015 - 3rd Ward race for Ann Arbor City Council.

Ward 4
March 05, 2015 mLive - Eaton and Anglin facing challengers in 4th and 5th ward races for Ann Arbor City Council.

Ward 5