General Election 2011: City Council Money

Ward 2: Lumm's support stronger citywide and inside ward

For nine candidates in Ann Arbor city council races this year, Oct. 28 was the pre-election campaign filing deadline.

Overridge Drive

Magenta dots indicate addresses of donors to the campaign of Ward 2 independent Jane Lumm. Overridge Drive is Lumm's home street, located near Huron Hills golf course, visible to the north in this image.

In an uncontested Ward 1 race, documents filed with the Washtenaw county clerk’s office show Democratic incumbent Sabra Briere raised $3,640 from 48 donors since the primary election (which for her was also uncontested).

In the contested Ward 3 race, Democratic incumbent Stephen Kunselman raised an additional $20 from one donor, bringing his total to $4,045 for this year’s election cycle. Kunselman prevailed in a three-way primary in August. Kunselman’s Republican challenger David Parker filed a waiver request – which is allowed if a candidate expects to spend less than $1,000.

In Ward 4, Democratic incumbent Marcia Higgins raised $1,075 from seven donors, compared with no contributions raised by her Republican opponent Eric Scheie. Scheie filed a negative balance (–$1,173.73), which earned him a notice of error from the county clerk’s office – the source of funds used to pay for expenditures must be given, even if it is a loan by the candidate to the campaign.

In Ward 5, Democratic incumbent Mike Anglin, who also had a contested primary, raised an additional $185 from three donors to bring his total this year to $7,405. Anglin’s Republican challenger Stuart Berry filed a waiver request.

In Ward 2, filing documents for Stephen Rapundalo show he raised an additional $4,420 since the primary, which was a contested race for him, bringing the total indicated on his paperwork for this year’s campaign to $8,505. [The Chronicle's arithmetic calculates $4,380, not $4,420, for this filing period.]

Independent challenger Jane Lumm, who of course did not participate in a partisan primary, outpaced all other candidates’ combined totals since the primaries by raising $18,950 from 193 donors.

After the jump we break down the Ward 2 contributions with charts and maps.

Ward 2: Who and How Much?

For Rapundalo, the pattern of contribution size was similar to the trend shown for his primary campaign – most contributions fell in the $50-$100 range.

About a third of contributions to Rapundalo’s campaign came from current or former elected or appointed officials, including Janis Bobrin (Washtenaw County water resources commissioner), Jean Carlberg (former planning commissioner and former city councilmember), Eunice Burns (former DDA board member), Christopher Taylor (Ann Arbor city councilmember), John Hieftje (mayor), Jan Barney Newman (Ann Arbor District Library board), John Splitt (DDA board member), Margie Teall (city councilmember), Brian Mackie (Washtenaw County prosecutor), and Joan Lowenstein (former city councilmember and current DDA board member).

Inspire Michigan also contributed to Rapundalo’s campaign, listing its address as that of Ned Staebler, who was appointed to the Local Development Finance Authority at the city council’s last meeting. The resolution appointing Staebler was sponsored by Rapundalo.

Former city of Ann Arbor community services area administrator Jayne Miller is also listed among Rapundalo’s contributors. [Miller took a job as superintendent of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation board a year ago, but the campaign contribution filing lists her Ann Arbor address.]


Chart A: Count of contributions for Rapundalo by category. Total of 33 donors, averaging $133 per contribution and a median of $100. Largest donation was $500.

The distribution of size among donations to Lumm’s campaign was skewed slightly lower than for Rapundalo – the highest frequency category was the $26-50 range.

Lumm’s contributors also include former city officials and past council candidates: Ingrid Sheldon (former mayor), Leslie Morris (former city councilmember), Peter Fink (former city councilmember), Stew Nelson (former Ward 2 candidate), Edwin Amonsen (former Ward 2 candidate), Emily Salvette (former Ward 2 candidate), Debra Bourque (spouse of Tom Bourque, a former Ward 2 candidate), John Floyd (former Ward 5 candidate), Vivienne Armentrout (former Ward 5 candidate), Ethel Potts (former council candidate and former planning commissioner) and Ed Shaffran (former DDA board member).


Chart A: Count of contributions for Lumm by category. Total of 193 donors averaging $98 per contribution and a median of $100. Largest donation was $1,000 (from Lumm and her husband).

Ward 2: Where?

In the maps we’ve created below, the light blue shaded area is Ward 2, with the city boundary shown in yellow. The magenta dots locate addresses of people who made donations. The size of the dots is uniform – they’re not sized to depict the amount of a donation. [link to dynamic Google Map with .kml file for Rapundalo's contributions] [link to dynamic Google Map with .kml file for Lumm's contributions]

For Rapundalo, no real patterns are evident. His support comes from inside and outside the ward.


Contributions to Stehen Rapundalo's campaign for the general election filing period. (Links to larger image.)

For Lumm, there’s a clear pattern of strong support in the southern part of the ward, Lumm’s home neighborhood, inside the loop formed by Washtenaw Avenue to the south, Huron Parkway to the east, and Geddes to the north. Another cluster of support inside the ward is evident in the middle of the ward, in the Glazier Way neighborhood.

Outside the ward, there’s a cluster of support in the Lawton neighborhood in the southwestern part of the city, as well as in the downtown area.


Contributions to Jane Lumm's campaign for the general election filing period. (Links to larger image.)

Historically, Ward 2 candidates running against Rapundalo have had relatively stronger showings at the polls in the same areas where Lumm is drawing financial support. [See Chronicle coverage: "Ann Arbor Elections: Past Voting Patterns" and "Incumbents Win Ann Arbor Dem Primaries"] However, he’s managed to prevail based on his popularity in his own neighborhood in the northern tier of the ward.

This year, the general election falls on Nov. 8. Readers who are unsure where to vote can type their address into the My Property page of the city of Ann Arbor’s website to get that information. A map of city ward boundaries is also online.

Additional Chronicle coverage of the local 2011 general election races includes reports from the League of Women Voters candidate forums for city council and Ann Arbor Public Schools board.

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  1. October 29, 2011 at 9:07 pm | permalink

    As a general rule, the candidate who raises more money from more people than her opponent will win a race.

    While Rapundalo is not yet toast, nonetheless the huge disparity in contributions in favor of Lumm make Rapundalo look a little crispy.

  2. By ALan Goldsmith
    October 30, 2011 at 4:09 pm | permalink

    David, it’s curious the story on Lumm raising four times the amount of campaign contributions that Rapundalo did was buried on the last page of Section A of’s Sunday print edition. Guess there wasn’t enough room to give the article the space and placement it needed.

  3. By Mark Koroi
    October 31, 2011 at 9:11 pm | permalink

    Two points:

    Marcia Higgins is a five-term incumbent and only has seven donors and barely over $1,000.00 in a contested race? She barely got over 50% of the vote against a GOP nominee the last time she faced a major party candidate, which was Jim Hood, Jr. in 2005.

    Sabra Briere has had 48 donors since the primary despite being uncontested. Is she actively soliciting donors via fundraisers etc.? She has raised almost as much as Rapundalo. Is there a reason her campaign committee is collecting these monies?

  4. By Alan Goldsmith
    November 1, 2011 at 6:44 am | permalink


    1. Ms. Higgins, unfortunately this time around, is facing a very weak challenger. If she doesn’t resign her seat during her two year term, I’m assuming she won’t be so lucky next time around.
    2. Ms. Briere isn’t taking any chances and doesn’t assume the seat is hers without engaging with the voting public. Unlike the invisible Ms. Higgins, who doesn’t bother to show up for the one debate or have an active campaign.

  5. By Rod Johnson
    November 1, 2011 at 8:51 am | permalink


    1. An apathetic incumbent is generating apathy in her constituents.

    2. Meanwhile, voters appreciate Ms. Briere’s approachability, responsiveness and diligence.

  6. By Alan Goldsmith
    November 1, 2011 at 8:59 am | permalink

    Didn’t bother to look at Ms. Higgins’ donors but would bet six of the seven are either current members of Council or the DDA.

  7. By Alan Goldsmith
    November 1, 2011 at 9:04 am | permalink

    I stand corrected. Two developers, two members of the DDA, one relative of an ex-Council person tossed out of office for insulting emails (lol) and…two unknowns, one from Dundee and one from out of Ward 4.

  8. By Alan Goldsmith
    November 1, 2011 at 9:25 am | permalink

    And one member of the State Street Area Association. But nearly 50% of the total is from one individual, a local developer who I’m sure doesn’t want anything from Ms. Higgins. Lol.