The winner of Ann Arbor’s mayoral Democratic primary to be held on Aug. 5, 2014 will face an independent candidate on the ballot in the general election. Bryan Kelly is now qualified to appear on the Nov. 4 ballot, according to Ann Arbor’s city clerk, Jackie Beaudry.
The last of Kelly’s signatures were validated late yesterday, July 16, the day before the deadline for independents to file. Mayoral candidates must obtain signatures from 50 voters in each of the city’s five wards for a total of 250. Kelly was short in Ward 2 and Ward 3 for his initial submissions, but filed sufficient supplemental signatures to qualify. By ward, his signature tally broke down as follows: Ward 1 (52); Ward 2 (51); Ward 3 (50); Ward 4 (56); Ward 5 (73).
Kelly’s campaign website includes the following background on his campaign:
I am a 28-year-old writer and regular old 12-to-8-er who was inspired to enter politics after attending a city council meeting in the thick of the 413 E. Huron development debate.
Listening to citizens of Ann Arbor plead with city government to vote against approval of the site plan – which was, in my mind, in clear violation of the spirit and letter of the community standards set forth in the A2D2 zoning regulation – motivated me to speak out. In this campaign, I’d like to try and represent those who are opposed to the too-rapid and too-slipshod development of Ann Arbor’s downtown and surrounding areas.
I am concerned that if the city remains on its current path, it will lose sight of what most people love about Ann Arbor: the Arbor part. The reason we choose to live in this city is the opportunity to live side-by-side and in communion with nature. Our parks, bike lanes, community gardens and farmer’s markets matter far more to me than parking structures, paved lots and fourteen-story high-rises that throw entire neighborhoods – including parts of Ann Street, the neighborhood in which I lived as a student – into shade, threatening property values, cluttering thoroughfares and endangering historic trees.
I feel that the candidates running for mayor in the Democratic primary have been too lax or too timid in addressing this issue.
Candidates in the Democratic primary are all currently members of the Ann Arbor city council: Stephen Kunselman, Sabra Briere, Christopher Taylor, and Sally Petersen. No Republican candidates filed. There is no incumbent in the race, as mayor John Hieftje announced last year he would not be seeking an eighth two-year term.
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