Michigan had a record-breaking turnout for the midterm election, with 4.45 million voters who cast a ballot on Tuesday, according to election data from the office of Secretary of State. The former record, set in 2018, saw a turnout of 4.34 million voters. In Washtenaw County, 182,037 voters submitted ballots.
Ann Arbor City Council
All of the city council members ran unopposed with the exception of Ward 5, where Democratic candidate Jenn Cornell ran against Jonathan Hoard, who did not run with a party affiliation.
Ward 1: Democrat candidate Cynthia Harrison was elected for a council spot alongside current Councilmember Lisa Disch, D-Ward 1.
Harrison’s platform focused heavily on mental health-driven criminal legal reform, accessible transportation and the development of affordable housing. Harrison will be the first Black woman to serve on City Council in over 15 years.
During the August primaries, Harrison defeated Angeline Smith with 71% of the vote. Harrison ran uncontested in the November election.
Ward 2: Democratic candidate Chris Watson was elected to serve beside Councilmember Linh Song, D-Ward 2.
Watson ran uncontested in the primary election in August and centered his platform on uplifting diverse voices in Ann Arbor’s community. Watson’s platform also prioritized sustainable development in Ann Arbor and includes supporting the city’s residents and the environment.
Ward 3: Democratic candidate Ayesha Ghazi Edwin was elected and will serve alongside current Councilmember Travis Radina, D-Ward 3. Outgoing Councilmember Julie Grand, D-Ward 3, did not seek re-election.
Ghazi Edwin currently serves as an Ann Arbor Human Rights Commissioner. In 2020, Ghazi Edwin was selected by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to be the statewide chair of the Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission. Ghazi Edwin’s platform focused on her commitment to city services and transparency in the city government.
Ward 4: Democratic candidate Dharma Akmon was elected and will serve alongside current Councilmember Jen Eyer, D-Ward 4.
Akmon, who moved to Ann Arbor in 2002, focused her campaign on committing to the city’s A2Zero plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, as well as efforts to reduce reliance on DTE following months of community backlash to the scattered power outages in the last year. Akmon also hoped to address affordable housing and transportation improvements, among other goals.
Ward 5: Democratic candidate Jenn Cornell faced independent candidate Jonathan Hoard in the only contested City Council election this November. Cornell won over incumbent Councilmember Ali Ramlawi, D-Ward 5, in the August Democratic primaries and has now been elected over Jonathan Hoard. Cornell received 87.3% of the vote.
Cornell is currently a collaborator with the A2Zero initiative in addition to serving on Washtenaw Community College’s Women’s Council and the City of Ann Arbor’s Council of the Commons. Her campaign focused on providing a variety of housing options, implementing an expanded transportation plan and infrastructure improvements.
Circuit Court Judge
Arianne Elizabeth Slay was elected to become the Ann Arbor Circuit Court Judge, receiving 70.6% of the vote, with Marla Linderman Richelew receiving 28.91% of the vote. Both Richelew and Slay were seeking election this November following Judge Archie Brown’s retirement. The circuit court handles felony criminal cases and any civil cases with claims of more than $25,000. Starting next year, Slay will serve a six-year term on Michigan’s 22nd Circuit Court.
Slay currently works as a deputy Ann Arbor city attorney. Slay’s platform focused on justice reform and her work with the Independent Police Oversight Commission. In her platform, Slay said she will prioritize transparency, courtroom restorative justice, civil justice reform, criminal justice reform and responsible court administration in her new position.
School District Board Member
Thirteen Ann Arbor residents campaigned for four open seats on the Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) Board of Education this November. Results show that incumbent Susan Baskett has been re-elected to the board and will be joined along with three new members: Rima Mohammad, Jacinda Townsend Gides and Susan Ward Schmidt. Susan Baskett won 13.61% of the total votes. Rima Mohammad, Jacinda Townsend Gides and Susan Ward Schmidt followed with 12.44%, 12.5% and 9.98% respectively.
Susan Baskett has served on the AAPS board since 2003. Currently, Baskett is the vice president of the board and works as an assistant teacher at Head Start. She previously grew up in Ann Arbor and attended the University of Michigan and Duke University.
Townsend Gides is an AAPS parent and a faculty member within the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at University of Michigan. Townsend Gides has previously served on a district school board in southern Indiana. Her campaign prioritized equity between all of the schools within the district and improved teacher retention rates.
Mohammad campaigned on a platform aiming to provide more support for students of Color in the district. Mohammad is a faculty member at the U-M College of Pharmacy and has previously worked as an educator, researcher and clinician. Mohammad has lived in Ann Arbor for the past nine years and has four children who attend Ann Arbor Public Schools. She is an active member on the Board of Education at the Michigan Islamic Academy, where she helped make health advisory decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Schmidt is a retired teacher who previously worked at several Michigan public school districts, including AAPS. A current Ann Arbor resident, Schmidt has been a public supporter for Michigan dyslexia laws to increase funding and awareness for people with dyslexia. Schmidt spent a large part of her career in East Lansing, serving as the president of the East Lansing Public School Board. For the past nine years she has resided in Ann Arbor, volunteering as a tutor at the Washtenaw County Jail and helping to raise money for Ann Arbor food banks.
District Library Board Member
Catherine Hadley, Aidan Sova and Jim Leija have been elected for the three seats on the Ann Arbor District Library Board. Six candidates were running for the three seats.
The three campaigned together and are looking to bring advocacy, representation and insight to Ann Arbor District Library discussions, according to their platform. Hadley graduated from the University of Michigan in 2022 and was a 2021 Truman Scholar. Sova also graduated from the University of Michigan in 2022 and currently serves on the Human Rights Commission in Ann Arbor. Sova is the youngest ever Black person to be elected to public office in the city after this win. Leija, the deputy director for public experience and learning at the University of Michigan Museum of Art, has served on the board since 2014. This will be his third term on the board.
County Commissioner 8th District
State Rep. Yousef Rabhi, D-Ann Arbor, faced Leslie Shannon in the County Commissioner election this November. Rabhi won with 91.67% of the vote and Shannon earned 8.22% of the vote.
Rabhi has served in the Michigan House of Representatives since 2017 and has completed three terms in the legislature, reaching the six-year term limit. Following his tenure in the state House, Rabhi decided to run for Washtenaw County Commissioner in the Nov. 8 election. He had previously served as a County Commissioner after being elected in 2010 while finishing his senior year at the University of Michigan studying environmental science.
County Commissioner 9th District
Incumbent County Commissioner Katie Scott faced off against Republican Stuart Berry for the 9th District seat this November. Scott won with 88.52% of the vote and was reelected. Berry earned 11.42% of the vote.
Scott was first sworn in as County Commissioner in 2019, has been an Ann Arbor resident for more than 20 years and has worked as a registered nurse. She campaigned for issues related to affordable green housing and community mental health.
Community Climate Action Millage
The Community Climate Action Millage was passed with 71.07% of Ann Arbor voters approving the proposal. This millage involves an increase of property taxes up to 1 mills in order to provide additional resources needed to achieve Ann Arbor’s A2Zero Action Plan.
Launched in 2019 by the Ann Arbor Office of Sustainability, the A2Zero Action Plan is intended to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. The four-tenet plan addresses climate change in terms of energy, mobility, resource reduction and adaptation and resilience. The funds raised from the millage are designed to ensure that the city of Ann Arbor accomplishes their carbon neutrality goals.
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