Democratic Primary 2011: Mapping Money

Basic contribution stats on primary candidates in Ward 2, 3, and 5

For the seven Democratic candidates in three different wards, Friday, July 22 was the filing deadline for pre-primary campaign contributions in Ann Arbor city council races. The primary election is on Tuesday, Aug. 2.

2011 Contributions Democratic Primary Ann Arbor

Summary plot of all local contributions to six candidates in Ann Arbor Democratic primary elections. The light blue areas are the wards in which the elections are contested. Each magenta circle indicates a contribution, placed on the map based on the address of the contributor and sized based on the amount of the contribution.

Six candidates filed the necessary paperwork, which is available from the Washtenaw County clerk’s office website. [Type in the candidate's last name for links to scanned .pdf files of campaign finance reports.]

For itemized cash contributions listed on Schedule 1-A, The Chronicle has compiled the data for all six candidates into a single Google Spreadsheet – in order to get a statistical overview of the candidates’ respective contributions and to map out the distributions of contributions geographically.

Ward 5 incumbent Mike Anglin’s total of $6,850 was the largest of any candidate. His challenger Neal Elyakin filed $5,923 worth of contributions.

In Ward 3, Ingrid Ault has raised $4,031, compared to incumbent Stephen Kunselman’s $2,750. According to Washtenaw County clerk staff on Tuesday morning, Ward 3 candidate Marwan Issa had not filed a contribution report by the Friday deadline. He’d also not submitted a waiver that can be filed if contributions total less than $1,000. The fine associated with not filing is $25 per day, up to a maximum of $500.

In Ward 2, incumbent Stephen Rapundalo filed $2,950 worth of contributions compared with $2,075 for challenger Tim Hull.

Collectively, the six candidates recorded $24,579 on their statements.

After the jump, we chart out the contributions to illustrate how candidates are being supported – through many small-sized donations, or by a fewer larger-sized donations. We also provide a geographic plot, to illustrate how much financial support candidates enjoy in the wards they’re running to represent.

Statistical Overview

Comparing the dollar-amount distribution of campaign contributions, incumbents Mike Anglin (Ward 5) and Stephen Kunselman (Ward 3) show a similar pattern. Both candidates draw much of their support from contributions that are $50 or less. Anglin’s contributions show this more dramatically, with the $0-25 category receiving the most contributions of any category. All other candidates received the most contributions in the $51-100 category.

It is also striking that Anglin’s 91 contributions are nearly double the number of contributions of challenger Neal Elyakin and around triple (or more) the number of contributions of candidates in other wards.


Mike Anglin (Ward 5) received 91 contributions, averaging $75. Around half were $50 or less.

2011 Elyakin Camp Cont Chart

Neal Elyakin (Ward 5) received 48 contributions, averaging $123. About half were $100 or more.

2011 Kunsleman Camp Cont Chart-small

Stephen Kunselman (Ward 3) received 27 contributions, averaging $102. About half were $50 or less.

2011 Ault Camp Cont Chart

Ingrid Ault (Ward 3) received 35 contributions, averaging $115. About half were $100 or more.

2011 Rapundalo Camp Cont Chart

Stephen Rapundalo (Ward 2) received 21 contributions, averaging $140. About half were $100 or more.

2011 Hull Camp Cont Chart

Tim Hull (Ward 2) received 14 contributions averaging $148. About half were $100 or more.


In each of the maps presented below, the magenta circles are centered on the address of a contributor. The size of the circle is proportional to the size of the contribution. The yellow border is the Ann Arbor city limit. The light blue area is the ward for which the candidate is seeking election.

The handful of addresses recorded as post office boxes were mapped to the center of the city – we did not attempt to identify a more precise location. The mapping of addresses to coordinates and the data plotting was done with GPS Visualizer. [Editor's note: GPS Visualizer depends in part on voluntary contributions to maintain the mapping tools as freely accessible and to make improvements to those tools. The Chronicle encourages its readers to support GPS Visualizer.]

Contributions from non-Ann Arbor addresses (typically from family members or business associates) are not depicted in the maps. We summarize non-Ann Arbor totals in the captions to each map. Incumbent Stephen Rapundalo in Ward 2 and challenger Neal Elyakin in Ward 5 each drew a bit more than one-third of their dollars from non-Ann Arbor addresses.

In terms of the amount of support within the ward to be represented, the mapped data shows that Ward 5 incumbent Mike Anglin enjoys more support inside his own ward than any other candidate. But he also has support throughout the city. In terms of relative amount of support inside the home ward compared with outside it, Ward 2′s Tim Hull appears to have an edge over other candidates.


anglin map plot 2011 primary

Mike Anglin (Ward 5) 2011 Democratic primary campaign contribution plot. Of Anglin's $6,850 contribution total, $250 came from non-Ann Arbor addresses.

Neal Elyakin 2011 Democratic primary

Neal Elyakin (Ward 5) 2011 Democratic primary campaign contribution plot. Of Elyakin's $5,923 contribution total, $2,250 came from non-Ann Arbor addresses.

Kunselman 2011 Democratic primary

Stephen Kunselman (Ward 3) 2011 Democratic primary campaign contribution plot. Of Kunselman's $2,750 contribution total, $200 came from non-Ann Arbor addresses.

Ingrid Ault (Ward 3) 2011 Democratic primary campaign contribution plot. Of Ault's $4,031 contribution total, $686 came from non-Ann Arbor addresses.

Rapundalo Democratic Primary 2011 Map

Stephen Rapundalo (Ward 2) 2011 Democratic primary campaign contribution plot. Of Rapundalo's $2,950 contribution total, $1,000 came from non-Ann Arbor addresses.

Tim Hull 2011 Democratic Primary

Tim Hull (Ward 2) 2011 Democratic primary campaign contribution plot. Of Hull's $2,075 contribution total, $150 came from non-Ann Arbor addresses.

The Chronicle relies in part on regular voluntary subscriptions to support our coverage of elections to public bodies like the Ann Arbor city council. Click this link for details: Subscribe to The Chronicle. And if you’re already supporting us, please encourage your friends, neighbors and colleagues to help support The Chronicle, too!


  1. July 26, 2011 at 1:55 pm | permalink

    Mmmmm data. Thanks for presenting this information in an easily understandable format.

  2. July 26, 2011 at 2:18 pm | permalink

    This mapping is an important achievement!

    Hmm. Looks like most of the action is in the Fifth Ward race. No surprise there.

    The only surprise for me is how much of Elyakin’s money is coming from outside AA.

  3. July 27, 2011 at 2:47 pm | permalink

    Where’s the map for the Republicans, Greens, Libertarian, and Socialist Worker’s parties and all the independent candidates? Oh wait. We don’t have any. I credit the research and graphing skills of Mr. Askins very highly but it once again illustrates the political straitjacket Ann Arbor is in. It really doesn’t matter who gives some candidate $50 or what neighborhood they live when we have no alternative choices when we to to vote. Why should Hieftje or the council members care that much what people think? They run unopposed in their primary and the general elections for the most part.

  4. By Jack Eaton
    July 27, 2011 at 3:59 pm | permalink

    Re [3], Ken, While there are no primaries for other parties, there are still some substantial choices to be made. In the Democratic Party primary, there are two basic “visions” for the City competing in three of our five wards. One vision is a “build-it-and-they-will-come” scheme financed with huge public debt. The competing vision supports the idea that because residents pay high taxes they should receive excellent public services (police, fire, solid wast, parks, etc.).

    Two incumbents, Council Members Anglin and Kunselman represent the services oriented view of local government. Challenger Tim Hull has expressed ideas consistent with this view.

    Conversely, incumbent Council member Rapundalo has pursued publicly financed economic development, debt leveraged projects like the underground parking structure and re-purposing of parkland for the benefit of private business. Challengers Ault and Elyakin have criticized the incumbents for not going along with the majority and can be expected to follow this debt/development vision of city government.

    The Republicans will not have a primary, but they will have candidates on the fall council ballot in three wards. It is my understanding that the three Republicans are of the Tea Party persuasion. Without regard to who wins the democratic nominations in the primaries, Tea Party versus Democrats will offer clear and distinct choices.

    Rather than decry the lack of party proliferation, I suggest that you take action. Staying informed, giving support and voting will help you through your frustration. You’re reading the best site for local government information, so you’re off to a good start. Consider writing a check or working on behalf of a campaign. And if none of the current crop of candidates fits your ideology, consider running in an upcoming year’s election with the party affiliation of your choosing

    Lastly, the Mayor and Council pay close attention to what voters think. Huron Hills is still a golf course and the library lot will not have a publicly subsidized conference center because they pay attention.

  5. By Mark Koroi
    July 27, 2011 at 10:07 pm | permalink

    Steve Rapundalo, to my knowledge, has not even put up a website yet despite collecting over $2,900. Can he win without a website? Is he doing any campaigning?

    A big chunk of Neal Elyakin’s funding appears to have come from activists in Jewish organizations of which he is affiliated with.

    Tim Hull has gotten only a small amount of donations. His backers appear the same persons who support Mike Anglin.

    Ault has collected an impressive amount of contributions given this is her first run at public office.