Democrats won a landslide victory in the Ann Arbor City Council race yesterday, winning every seat open for election. The party will now enjoy an 8 to 2 majority on the city council, in addition to the vote of the mayor.

Celebrating his party’s victory at the Arbor Brewing Company on Washington Avenue, State Rep. Chris Kolb announced the victory of his fellow Democrats with unrestrained enthusiasm.

“It’s a great night for the City of Ann Arbor,” he declared. “We have won every single council race here.”

After losing her seat last year, First Amendment lawyer Joan Lowenstein regained another position on council in the 2nd Ward by margin of 58 percent, a surprisingly wide margin for the most conservative ward in the city, beating Republican businessman Jeff Hauptmann.

“I stood here last year, perhaps on this very chair, and it was a sad night, but I swore I would come back,” she said. “Thanks to the hard work of many people I will be serving again on city council.”

She partially attributed her win to greater voter turnout. While she said only 25 votes were cast for her ward in total at Mary Markley Residence Hall in the election she lost last year, she received more than 200 votes this year at the Markley polling place alone.

Retired teacher Jean Carlberg, who ran as the incumbent in the 3rd Ward, said she was elated by her victory, but realized more work demanded her attention.

“It is sort of business as usual because there’s a lot of work ahead of me and I know what it is,” she said. “I’m the longest serving (city council member) and I love my job.”

Carlberg won against Jeff DeBoer, owner of a product design company, by vote of 4,981 to 1,829.

Photographer Margie Teall, who ran in the 4th Ward against Republican Kenneth Timmer, a Ford Motor Company engineer, said she was similarly pleased with her victory, but was eager to begin work for her community.

“I’ve got to get to work,” she said. “I’m excited to do that, particularly with individuals that are on council now. I hope I’ll live up to everybody’s expectations.”

Teall won against Timmer by a margin of 3,494 to 2,422.

It was not a good night for Republicans hoping to gain a bigger role on the Ann Arbor City Council. Claiming they were victims of a Democratic city and straight ticket voting, Washtenaw County Republican Chairwoman Marlene Chockley said she was perplexed by the “stupidity” of the voters and their unawareness of the issues.

“We have a lot of ignorance going on out there,” Chockley said. “They vote straight ticket.”

DeBoer said he was not surprised due to the large amount of Democrats in his district, but was happy about his efforts to bring out the relevant issues.

“I think the fact that we got over 1,000 voters to vote for us was particularly significant,” he said. “We gave people a choice, which is important.”

Timmer was upset by the loss of his opportunity to take an active role in local politics.

“I’m a little disappointed because I thought I had a lot to offer,” he said.

Both DeBoer and Timmer said they thought they were victims to straight ticket voting. They said voters just went in and checked off one box without looking at the bottom of the ballot.

“I think a lot of folks went in voting for governor,” DeBoer said.

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