Taylor wins Democratic primary, seeks third term as mayor of Ann Arbor

Monday, August 6, 2018 - 4:31pm

Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor speaking at the Ann Arbor Firecracker 5K in downtown Ann Arbor.

Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor speaking at the Ann Arbor Firecracker 5K in downtown Ann Arbor. Buy this photo
Alec Cohen/Daily

Christopher Taylor was chosen as the Democratic candidate for mayor of Ann Arbor in the Aug. 7 vote, beating his opponent, City Councilmember Jack Eaton, D-Ward 4, with a 59-percent majority.

Taylor, a Democrat, was elected mayor in 2014 and has since served two terms. Unlike Taylor’s first two terms, the upcoming term will last four years, according to a 2016 vote regarding term length.

Prior to serving as mayor, Taylor represented Ann Arbor’s 3rd Ward in City Council from 2008 to 2014. He also practices with Hooper Hathaway, P.C., a law firm in Ann Arbor. A New York City native, Taylor has four degrees from the University of Michigan, in English, vocal performance, American history and law.

As Mayor, Taylor has centered his platform around infrastructure, sustainability, social justice and affordability. Recently, he has taken action on downtown development, advancing the sale of Library Lot to developer Core Spaces. He also supported the formation of the Ann Arbor Police Task Force, a group working to outline how the city should monitor the Ann Arbor Police Department.

During the mayoral race, Eaton criticized Taylor’s approach to a number of issues. Eaton accused the mayor of falling short on improving public resources, addressing environmental concerns and making housing more affordable.

“The promises that the current mayor is doing, what he will do for the next four years really reflects what he and his majority have not done for the last 10,” Eaton said.

Taylor, however, said he is committed to promoting progressive values in Ann Arbor.

“I support funding and building affordable housing, I support funding and implementing our climate action plan, I support an active and strong policing commission,” Taylor said.

Taylor’s campaign won the endorsement of numerous Ann Arbor public servants and City Councilmembers. He has also received donations from the Michigan Laborers’ Political League PAC, LGBTQ activist Jim Toy and Laura Rubin, executive director of the Huron River Watershed Council.

Amanda Uhle, CEO of the Hawkins Project, praised Taylor for his dedication to the city of Ann Arbor in an endorsement on Taylor’s campaign website.

“Having known him for many years, I'm always astonished by his unflagging energy and his thoughtful approach to everything he undertakes,” Uhle said. “Taylor has demonstrated that he is precisely what Ann Arbor needs — a deeply empathetic leader who makes bold, considered decisions to benefit us all."

Commenting on his approach to leadership, Taylor said he values being honest with his constituents. Taylor hopes to see open lines of communication between Ann Arbor voters and elected officials such as himself.

“One of my principles serving as mayor is to tell people candidly what we can do and what we cannot do,” Taylor said. “I think it’s important that people know that they can rely upon their mayor not to tell them what they want to hear but to tell them the truth.”

Ann Arbor also held Democratic and Republican primary elections for City Council August 7. Democrat Jeff Hayner won the Ward 1 primary and will face Democratic Socialist Ryan Hughes in November. Kathy Griswold, a Democrat, topped incumbent Kirk Westphal in Ward 2. Democrat Julie Grand, who currently serves on Council, won in Ward 3. Wards 4 and 5 both saw some changes, with Democrat Elizabeth Nelson defeating incumbent Graydon Krapohl (D-Ward 4) and Ali Ramlawi beating incumbent Chuck Warpehoski (D-Ward 5).