Julie Grand has now taken out petitions to run for the city council seat that will be left open in Ann Arbor’s Ward 3 as a result of incumbent Christopher Taylor’s mayoral candidacy. According to city clerk staff, Grand took out the petitions to contest the Democratic primary around noon on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014.
Grand ended her service on the city’s park advisory commission in October 2013. She’d served two three-year terms, which is the maximum number of terms that a PAC commissioner can serve. From April 2010 until September 2013 she had served as chair of PAC. Grand holds a Ph.D. in health services organization and policy from the University of Michigan, and is a lecturer in that field at the UM Dearborn campus.
Grand had previously indicated that she’d run for the open seat in Ward 3. She made an unsuccessful effort to win election to represent Ward 3 last year. That Democratic primary was won by incumbent Stephen Kunselman. In a telephone interview with The Chronicle on Jan. 9, Grand said she is again planning to run for election to represent Ward 3 seat because her reasons for wanting to serve on the council had not changed.
Like Taylor, Kunselman is also running for mayor of Ann Arbor, but his two-year term on council will extend a year past the November 2014 election. So Kunselman will remain a member of the council after the election – either as mayor or as a Ward 3 councilmember. That same scenario applies to Ward 1 councilmember Sabra Briere’s mayoral candidacy. Another potential candidate for mayor is Ward 2 representative Sally Petersen, but she has not yet announced her decision whether to run for mayor. If she did, that would leave the Ward 2 seat open – because she was elected in 2012.
Ann Arbor councilmembers and mayor serve two-year terms. Each of the city’s five wards is represented by two councilmembers, so in any given year, one of the seats associated with a ward is up for election. The position of mayor is elected in every even year.
Limits on the amount that an individual can contribute to a candidate’s campaign were lifted through Public Act 252 of 2013. For this year’s local elections, the limit that any individual can contribute to a city council candidate is $1,000. The limit for mayoral candidates is $2,000. Those amounts for councilmembers and mayor were previously $500 and $1,000 respectively.
In other wards, incumbent Democrats Chuck Warpehoski (Ward 5) and Sumi Kailasapathy (Ward 1) have taken out petitions to seek re-election. The only other person shown in city clerk records to have taken out petitions for local office is Eric Sturgis for the Ward 1 council seat – but an asterisk recorded next to his name includes a note that says Sturgis has indicated to the clerk’s office that he does not intend to file signatures to become a candidate. Sturgis contested the Ward 1 Democratic primary in 2012, which was won by Kailasapathy.
Petitions for the partisan primary in August 2014 must be turned in by April 22
. For mayor, the requirement is for 50 signatures from each of the city’s five wards, for a total of 250 signatures. For councilmembers, 100 signatures are required from their ward.