Photos: Politicians on Parade

Ann Arbor's July 4th parade draws Democrats, Republicans, clowns

Not every local political candidate or elected official walked the mile-long Ann Arbor July 4th parade route on Monday, but it sure felt like a quorum.

Jaycees sign at Ann Arbor July 4th parade

The start of the 2011 Ann Arbor July 4th parade.

Some of them – like John Dingell, a Democrat who’s the longest-serving member of the U.S. House of Representatives – are veterans of these events. Others are making a debut of sorts. Larry Murphy, for example, attended a candidate forum just last week where he indicated he hadn’t yet made a decision whether to run for the Ann Arbor Public Schools board of trustees. But on Monday he marched in the July 4th parade, and told The Chronicle that he’s “crossed the Rubicon” and decided to enter the race.

The parade – organized each year by the Ann Arbor Jaycees – certainly featured more than just politicos in its ranks. Kids, clowns, firetrucks, horses, pageant queens, sword fighters, baton twirlers and many others marched the route from State to Liberty to Main to William.

But Independence Day is rooted in our nation’s democracy, and in our ability as citizens to elect representatives to serve us at all levels. So with that in mind, and in keeping with The Chronicle’s focus on local government and civic affairs, we hope you enjoy this photo essay from Monday’s parade. Happy Fourth of July, Ann Arbor!

Mike Anglin, Neal Elyakin, Tom Wall

Neal Elyakin, center, greets Mike Anglin before the start of the parade. Anglin is the incumbent Ward 5 Ann Arbor city councilmember. Elyakin is running against him in the Aug. 2 Democratic primary. At the right is Tom Wall, former mayoral candidate.

Steve and Letitia Kunselman

Steve Kunselman, incumbent Ward 3 city councilmember, with his wife Letitia Kunselman. He's being challenged in the Aug. 2 Democratic primary by Ingrid Ault and Marwan Issa. Neither challenger had entries in the July 4th parade.

Jeff Irwin and supporters

State Rep. Jeff Irwin (center, blue shirt) with his supporters on South State Street. Irwin, a Democrat, represents Ann Arbor's District 53 in the Michigan House of Representatives. He was first elected to that office in 2010, after serving on the Washtenaw County board of commissioners for a decade. He's faces re-election in 2012.

Larry Murphy and family

Larry Murphy, a candidate for the Ann Arbor Public Schools board of trustees, with his family. The slogan on the back of the T-shirts read: "More Teachers. Less Overhead."

Jean King

Former Scio Township trustee Jean King, a Democrat, remains a political activist. She rode with the Gray Panthers of Washtenaw County. (Image links to Ann Arbor Chronicle column about a March 2011 tribute event and naming of the Jean Ledwith King Women's Center of Southeastern Michigan.)

Doug Kelley

Doug Kelley isn't running for office, but the Democratic activist is already gearing up for the 2012 presidential campaign.

John Dingell

U.S. Congressman John Dingell rides in the passenger seat, with his wife Debbie Dingell in back. The car is being driven by Adam Zemke, former Democratic candidate for Washtenaw County commissioner.

Jerry Clayton

Washtenaw County sheriff Jerry Clayton was among the many elected officials who walked the Ann Arbor Fourth of July parade. First elected in 2008 after defeating fellow Democrat and incumbent Dan Minzey, Clayton will be up for re-election in 2012.

Washtenaw County Republicans

The Washtenaw County Republicans and the Willow Run Tea Party Caucus both had entries in the Ann Arbor Fourth of July parade.

Stuart Berry

Stuart Berry, right, is a Republican candidate for Ward 5 Ann Arbor city council. He'll face the winner of the Democratic primary – either incumbent Mike Anglin or Neal Elyakin – in November. (Notice in the background The Chronicle's name on the Michigan Theater marquee – for our sponsorship of the theater's summer documentary film series. Image links to series schedule.)

Rebekah Warren

State Sen. Rebekah Warren represents District 18 in the Michigan Senate, an area that includes Ann Arbor. A Democrat, she was elected to the state senate in 2010 to a four-year term.

Brian Mackie, Janis Bobrin, Sabra Briere

Brian Mackie, Janis Bobrin and Sabra Briere walk together down East Liberty. Briere (right, taking a photograph) is a Ward 1 Ann Arbor city councilmember running unopposed in the Democratic primary. Mackie, Washtenaw County prosecuting attorney, and Bobrin, the county's water resources commissioner, are also Democrats and will face re-election in 2012.

Bob Dascola

Some non-political clowns: Bob Dascola, left, with his clown pal were promoting Shakespeare in the Park, a summer series in West Park. (Image links to Blackbird Theatre website with more information.)

End of the Ann Arbor Fourth of July Parade

Just in case anyone wondered, this sign makes it clear that anything coming after these guys isn't part of the official parade. Notice the "Recall Snyder" sign in the background – supporters of the recall effort of Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, an Ann Arbor area resident, were out collecting signatures for the recall petition.

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