Election Update: Kaplan, Bryson Verified

Ann Arbor city clerk records at the end of the day on Friday, April 11 show that no additional candidates have taken out petitions to run for city council or for mayor.

That would leave anyone with an interest in contesting the partisan primaries on Aug. 5 with just one weekend and seven week days to gather enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. That’s if petitions were taken out on Monday, April 14. Signatures are due on April 22 – 100 for council candidates and 50 from each of the city’s five wards for mayor. If no one else takes out petitions and submits signatures, races in Ward 1 and Ward 4 would be uncontested.

The only action in the races for council and mayor this week was the clerk’s verification of signatures on nominating petitions for two council candidates: Nancy Kaplan in Ward 2 and Leon Bryson in Ward 5. Clerk records show that 104 and 101 signatures were verified for Kaplan and Bryson, respectively.

Kaplan – who serves on the board of the Ann Arbor District Library – took out petitions on March 26 to run for the city council seat. Kaplan’s term on the AADL board runs through 2016. She’s indicated to The Chronicle that if elected to the city council, she would resign from the library board. Another potential candidate in Ward 2, Kirk Westphal, took out petitions on Jan. 15. Westphal currently serves as chair of the city’s planning commission. He has not yet submitted signatures.

The Ward 2 incumbent, Democrat Sally Petersen, is not running for re-election to that seat, because she’s running for mayor instead. Each of the city’s five wards is represented by two councilmembers, who serve two-year terms. The other sitting Ward 2 representative is Jane Lumm, who won re-election in November 2012.

Joining Petersen in the mayoral race are three other Democratic city councilmembers: Sabra Briere (Ward 1), Christopher Taylor and Stephen Kunselman (Ward 3). Mayor John Hieftje announced last year that he will not seek re-election. Of the mayoral candidates, only Kunselman has so far submitted the required 250 signatures, which have been verified.

Bryson will appear on the Ward 5 city council Democratic primary ballot along with incumbent Chuck Warpehoski, who took out petitions last year on Nov. 7, 2013. Warpehoski has not yet submitted signatures, but does intend to seek re-election. Bryson describes himself in an introductory letter as an Ann Arbor resident since 1999, originally from Detroit. He holds an engineering degree from Wayne State and now operates a small business.

Warpehoski has served on the council since first being elected in November 2012. Warpehoski has served as director of the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice (ICPJ) for eight years. The other sitting representative for Ward 5 on the council is Mike Anglin.

In Ward, 3 Samuel McMullen took out petitions on April 3 to contest the Ward 3 city council Democratic primary on Aug. 5. The University of Michigan freshman joins Julie Grand and Bob Dascola as the third candidate to take out petitions for the Ward 3 primary. McMullen is a graduate of Rudolf Steiner High School in Ann Arbor. According to Ann Arbor city clerk Jackie Beaudry, McMullen does meet the city charter’s one-year durational residency and voter registration requirements – through his voter registration indicating an address on East University Avenue in Ward 3, which dates from October 2013.

Those charter requirements have become a point of contention for Dascola’s candidacy. The city clerk’s office has informed Dascola that he’s not eligible to run because he doesn’t meet the city’s one-year residency and voter registration requirements. And Dascola has now filed a lawsuit to assert his right to run, based on federal court decisions from the early 1970s. The city clerk’s office has verified 103 signatures for Dascola, but the question about his eligibility remains.

The other candidate who has taken out petitions for that Ward 3 race is Julie Grand. The former chair of the park advisory commission competed in the August 2013 primary against Stephen Kunselman, who received more votes in that race.

In Ward 1, incumbent Democrat Sumi Kailasapathy filed petitions on March 19, and 102 signatures were verified by the clerk’s office on March 20. The other person shown in city clerk records to have taken out petitions for Ward 1 is Eric Sturgis. But an asterisk recorded next to his name includes a note that says Sturgis has indicated to the clerk’s office that he does not intend to file signatures to become a candidate. Sturgis contested the Ward 1 Democratic primary in 2012, which was won by Kailasapathy.

In Ward 4, the only candidate to take out petitions so far is Graydon Krapohl, who currently serves as vice chair of the city’s park advisory commission. The incumbent, Margie Teall, has stated that she does not intend to run for re-election. Krapohl has not yet submitted signatures.

All candidates for city office so far are Democrats.


  1. By Mark Koroi
    April 13, 2014 at 1:37 pm | permalink

    I am stunned nobody has pulled petitions for the open seat in the Fourth Ward to oppose the only declared Fourth Ward candidate.

    The Dascola candidacy is currently dependent on a positive ruling by Judge Zatkoff in U.S. District Court in Detroit. But doesn’t McMullen’s candidacy also have a residency problem as well if he only registered at his Ward #3 address last October?

  2. By Mary Morgan
    April 13, 2014 at 3:16 pm | permalink

    Re. “But doesn’t McMullen’s candidacy also have a residency problem as well if he only registered at his Ward #3 address last October?”

    The one-year durational residency and voter registration requirements are tied to the time of the election to office. In McMullen’s case, he satisfies the requirements because the election to office is Nov. 4, 2014. As a primary, the Aug. 5 election does not count as election to office.

  3. By Mark Koroi
    April 13, 2014 at 6:30 pm | permalink


  4. By John Floyd
    April 14, 2014 at 1:11 am | permalink

    If elected, does Dascola plan to give government a hair cut?

  5. By Jack Eaton
    April 14, 2014 at 1:15 pm | permalink

    I heard that Don Adams, Jr. pulled petitions today to run for Council in the First Ward. I have met Mr. Adams and found him to be a nice guy. I just don’t think he has any chance of beating Sumi.

    In the Second Ward, I think Kaplan has the advantage. She is well versed in the issues and Westphal’s conduct in the last election is not likely to be forgotten any time soon.

    In the Third Ward, it would be nice if Dascola is found eligible to run. Having a small business owner on Council would add an important point of view. I met McMullen this weekend. I am quite impressed with his grasp of the issues. When was the last time a University student served on Council?

    The lack of a contest in the Fourth Ward may disappoint some. I think Krapohl may surprise some. He is active in his neighborhood group. He is also a military guy, which means to me that he is process oriented.

    I also believe that Bryson has a good chance of winning in the Fifth Ward. He is an engineer (again indicating a process orientation). He is well acquainted with the issues and will demonstrate the maturity and civility the Fifth Ward deserves.

  6. By Steve Borgsdorf
    April 14, 2014 at 2:54 pm | permalink

    Chuck Warpehoski was out collecting signatures this weekend.

  7. By Mary Morgan
    April 15, 2014 at 9:21 am | permalink

    Re. “I heard that Don Adams, Jr. pulled petitions today to run for Council in the First Ward.”

    Here’s a link to our Civic News Ticker about that candidate: [link] It includes an update on Bob Dascola’s lawsuit – the city has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit and a response to Dascola’s motion for summary judgment.