County Board Races Set for Aug. 5 Primary

Competition in only one district for the Washtenaw County board of commissioners will play out in the Aug. 5, 2014 primary. Four Democratic candidates have filed for that seat. The deadline to file for the primary election was 4 p.m. on April 22.

In the remaining eight county districts, incumbents are unopposed in the primary but in most cases face competition in the Nov. 6 general election. Only the board’s two Republican incumbents – Dan Smith and Alicia Ping – are unopposed in the primary and will not face a Democratic opponent in November.

In District 5, incumbent Democrat Rolland Sizemore Jr. decided not to run for re-election. Four Democrats and one Republican have filed for that seat, which represents southeast Washtenaw, including Augusta Township and much of Ypsilanti Township. The Democrats are Wilma Gold-Jones, who serves on the board of the nonprofit Mentor2Youth; Ruth Ann Jamnick, former state representative and former Ypsilanti Township supervisor; Victor Dobrin, a retired engineer; and Keith Jason, coordinator of student services for Eastern Michigan University’s College of Technology. Jason also is a current Ypsilanti Township park commissioner and board member of the Ypsilanti Community Utilities Authority (YCUA). Republican Timothy King has also filed for that seat, but will be unopposed in the primary.

In the remaining eight districts, there are no primary challenges. Here’s a breakdown of the races and a link to the map of districts:

  • District 1: Incumbent Democrat Kent Martinez-Kratz of Chelsea is unopposed in the primary, but will be challenged by Republican Larry Murphy of Scio Township in November. The district covers five townships in the west and northwest portions of the county, as well as Chelsea and Dexter.
  • District 2: Incumbent Republican Dan Smith of Whitmore Lake is unopposed in the primary. No Democrat has filed for this seat, so unless an independent challenger emerges, Smith will also be unopposed in November. District 2 covers north and northeast portions of Washtenaw County, including five townships, Barton Hills and a small part of northern Ann Arbor.
  • District 3: Incumbent Republican Alicia Ping of Saline is unopposed in the primary. She’ll also be unopposed in November, unless challenged by an independent candidate. This is the largest district in terms of geographic size, covering seven townships in southwest and southern Washtenaw County, as well as the cities of Saline and Milan and the village of Manchester.
  • District 4: Incumbent Democrat Felicia Brabec does not face a challenger in the primary, but will be on the ballot with Republican Stanley Watson in November. The district primarily covers Pittsfield Township.
  • District 6: Incumbent Democrat Ronnie Peterson does not face any Democratic opponents in the primary. Republican David Raaflaub will be on the ballot in November. If Peterson is re-elected in November, he would be the longest-serving current commissioner. The district includes Ypsilanti and parts of Ypsilanti Township and Superior Township.
  • District 7: Democrat Andy LaBarre is running for re-election in this district, covering the east, northeast and southeast sides of Ann Arbor. He is unopposed in the primary, but will face Republican Joe Miriani in November.
  • District 8: Incumbent Democrat Yousef Rabhi, who currently serves as county board chair, faces no primary challenger. The only Republican to file for this district is Jeffrey Gallatin, who ran for county sheriff in 2012. The district represents central and south-central Ann Arbor.
  • District 9: Republican John Floyd will challenge incumbent Democrat Conan Smith in November. Neither candidate faces opposition in the primary. This district covers the west, northwest and southwest sides of Ann Arbor.

For the office of county commissioner, candidates could file either 50 signatures from their district or pay a $100 filing fee to appear on the ballot. Of all the current candidates, only three filed signatures: Wilma Gold-Jones and Victor Dobrin in District 5, and incumbent Yousef Rabhi in District 8. All other candidates paid the filing fee.

The county board has nine seats. All commissioners serve two-year terms, and all seats are up for election in 2014. Commissioners elected in November will begin their new terms on Jan. 1, 2015.

The deadline to withdraw from these races is 4 p.m. on Friday, April 25. More information about the candidates in these and other local elections is on the Washtenaw County elections website.

One Comment

  1. By Junior
    April 22, 2014 at 6:04 pm | permalink

    Andy LaBarre is a former aide to Congressman Dingell.

    I was present at a Board of Commissioners meeting last year when Douglas Smith dropped a bombshell allegations about how certain improprieties had occurred at the Sheriff’s Department.

    I was stunned when LaBarre immediately responded to the allegations at the videotaped meeting with a glowing endorsement of both the Sheriff as well as the aide Smith had alluded to in his public commentary without any investigation of the proof being submitted by Smith. The videotape of the exchange has been uploaded to YouTube and the specific allegations posted at

    Anyone considering voting for LaBarre needs to see the YouTube video.