Council Hopefuls File; Sturgis to Try Ward 1

As of late afternoon on Wednesday, May 9, a total of 15 petitions have been pulled for Ann Arbor city council and mayoral races. Five candidates have now filed their petitions and had them verified.

A new name added early this week was Eric Sturgis, who has pulled petitions to join Sumi Kailasapathy in the Democratic primary for Ward 1. Incumbent Sandi Smith has announced she won’t be seeking re-election.

Kailasapathy, who lost the 2010 Democratic primary to Smith, filed her nominating petitions on May 7 and the city clerk’s office verified signatures the following day. Sturgis will have until May 15 at 4 p.m. to file nominating petitions with at least 100 signatures of Ward 1 residents.

In 2004, then 18-year-old Sturgis filed petitions to run for Scio Township trustee, but withdrew his candidacy under pressure from fellow Democrats, according to a May 30, 2004 Ann Arbor News article. Sturgis was also an unsuccessful candidate in the 2005 Ann Arbor Public Schools board of trustee elections – he withdrew after the deadline for removing his name from the ballot.

In Ward 2, incumbent Democrat Tony Derezinski and challenger Sally Hart Petersen have both filed their nominating petitions and had their signatures verified – Derezinski on May 1 and Petersen on May 9.

In Ward 3, incumbent Democrat Christopher Taylor filed his nominating signatures on April 30 and the city clerk’s office verified them on May 1. In Ward 3, Albert Howard has taken out petitions for city councilmember as a Republican; he has also taken out petitions to run for mayor. By state election law, if petitions are submitted for both positions and verified, Howard would need to withdraw from one of those races, or else be disqualified from running in either race.

In Ward 4, incumbent Democrat Margie Teall has taken out petitions, but not yet filed them. Taking out petitions puts incumbents under no obligation to file – as demonstrated by Democrat Carsten Hohnke, who announced on April 21 that he would not be seeking re-election to his Ward 5 seat after taking out petitions on Feb. 27. In Ward 4, Democratic challenger Jack Eaton, who lost the Democratic primary to Teall in 2010, filed his petitions on April 30 and had them verified by the city clerk’s office on May 2.

In Ward 5, three candidates have taken out petitions to fill Hohnke’s seat – Republican Stuart Berry, as well as Democrats Vivienne Armentrout and Chuck Warpehoski. No one has filed petitions yet for that race.

In the mayor’s race, none of the candidates who’ve taken out petitions – incumbent Democrat John Hieftje, Democrat Tom Wall and Republican Albert Howard – have filed them

For the Aug. 7 primary, the filing deadline for city council candidates with party affiliations is May 15 at 4 p.m. For independent candidates in the Nov. 6 general election, the filing deadline is July 19 at 4 p.m. More information about the filing process is available on the city clerk’s elections website.