Ward 2 city council representative Sally Petersen has announced that she’s running for mayor of Ann Arbor. She made the announcement in a press release Wednesday morning, Jan. 15, 2014. The city clerk’s office confirmed that she pulled petitions that morning to contest the August Democratic primary. [.pdf of Petersen's press release]
Petersen’s press release cites her previous employment experience with CFI Group, ABN AMRO Mortgage Group, and HealthMedia, as well as her service on nonprofit boards. Petersen holds an MBA from Harvard University.
If Petersen is elected mayor, it will be with two years of experience on the city council. She was first elected to the council in 2012, prevailing in the August 2012 Democratic primary against incumbent Tony Derezinski with 55% of the 2,102 votes cast. Among the four declared candidates from the council so far, two years would be the shortest period of service.
By November this year, Christopher Taylor (Ward 3) will have logged six years of council service, having been first elected in 2008. By election time, Sabra Briere (Ward 1) will have served seven years on council. And Stephen Kunselman (Ward 3) will also have seven years of Ann Arbor city council experience – which began with his election in 2006, but was interrupted for a year when he lost the 2008 Democratic primary to Taylor. Kunselman was returned to the council in 2009, prevailing in the Democratic primary over Leigh Greden.
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. Briere announced on Jan. 10, 2014 that she’d be running for mayor. Taylor announced his candidacy last year, on Dec. 20, 2013. Kunselman was the first to announce a candidacy for mayor, taking out petitions on Sept. 27, 2013 – even before winning re-election to his Ward 3 council seat on Nov. 5, 2013.
Ann Arbor’s city council includes two representatives from each of five wards, one of which is up for re-election every year for a two-year term. Ann Arbor’s mayor is also a member of the 11-member city council, and serves a two-year term. So only if Petersen or Taylor were elected mayor would either of them remain on the council. They can’t run for mayor at the same time they run for re-election to represent Wards 2 and 3, respectively.