Incumbent Councilmember Chuck Warpehoski (D–Ward 5) has won the Democratic primary election for Ann Arbor City Council’s Fifth Ward recieving 2,424 votes, defeating his challenger Kevin Leeser who recieved 1,120.
Because no candidate is running as a Republican for the council seat, Warpehoski will be the most likely winner of the November general election.
Warpehoski, who administers an interfaith nonprofit by day, was originally elected to the council in 2012. Warpehoski has been a vocal advocate on issues like affordable housing and has often voted in line with Mayor Christopher Taylor, who endorsed Warpehoski last week.
Leeser — a nurse at the University of Michigan Health System — challenged Warpehoski with pedestrian safety and improved government accountability as his signature issues such. He has also been outspoken against the Ann Arbor deer cull and the expansion of student housing downtown.
Warpehoski told the Daily on Wednesday that the results are a refelction of a broader satisfaction with the city’s current leadership.
“When three of the six seats are uncontested, and those three seats are won by the incumbent, I think that shows there’s a high level of satisfaction with the direction the city’s headed in,” Warpehoski said, also noting Mayor Christopher Taylor was also unchallenged for re-election. “I think the voters have said that they want a continuation of the policies that they’ve been seeing.”
In an interview after the results were released, Leeser said he intends to continue to fight for improved pedestrian safety as a private citizen.
Warpehoski raised $4,969 and spent $2,122 for his re-election campaign. Leeser ran a less extensive campaign, raising $925 and spending $763.