In a statement released around 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, Ward 1 city councilmember Sabra Briere has announced that she will run for mayor of Ann Arbor in 2014. [.pdf of Briere's press release]
The field of mayoral candidates in Ann Arbor is somewhat wide open this year, because mayor John Hieftje announced on Oct. 11, 2013 that he would not be seeking re-election to an eighth two-year term in 2014. Ward 3 councilmembers Stephen Kunselman and Christopher Taylor have already pulled petitions to contest the Democratic primary.
Briere will continue her service on the council at least through 2015, regardless of the outcome of the mayoral election. If she prevails, she would remain a member of the council – because under Ann Arbor’s council-manager form of government, the mayor is also a councilmember. On that scenario, the council would need to appoint someone to fill the Ward 1 seat currently held by Briere.
If she does not prevail, then she would retain her Ward 1 seat, having won re-election to a two-year term in November 2013. That was a race she won against independent Jeff Hayner, who received 32% of the 1,747 ballots cast.
With Hieftje stepping down and Margie Teall’s intentions to seek re-election to represent Ward 4 not yet clear, in November 2014 Briere could become one of the two most-senior members of the council. Mike Anglin (Ward 5) and Briere were both first elected to the council in November 2007.
Briere was not opposed in the 2007 general election. She had prevailed in a three-way Democratic primary to fill the seat left vacant by Bob Johnson, who did not seek re-election that year. In the August 2007 primary, she polled 46% of the vote, compared to 34% for John Roberts and 19.5% for Richard Wickboldt. That race saw 920 votes cast.
Briere has served on the city planning commission as the council’s representative to that group for since November 2012.
The other declared candidates for mayor – Ward 3 councilmembers Kunselman and Taylor – announced their intent last year. Kunselman holds a masters of urban planning from the University of Michigan and works for the university as an energy conservation liaison. Taylor, a graduate of the University of Michigan law school, is an attorney with Hooper Hathaway.