Yesterday’s Ann Arbor City Council elections resulted in
the re-election of all current council members, including Mayor
John Hieftje and 3rd ward representative Jean Carlberg, the only
two members who faced challengers.

The council, currently made up of 10 Democrats and one
Republican, will remain unchanged for the next two years.

Hieftje, who won the mayoral race with 38,028 votes, or 68
percent, now faces his third term. His opponent, Republican Jane
Lumm, received 17,270 votes, 31 percent.

Hieftje was ill and unable to comment on his victory, but his
wife, Kathryn Goodson, made a victory speech on his behalf at the
Democratic headquarters on South Fourth Avenue.

“We’re very excited about our victory — there
will be a great team on the council,” Goodson said.
“The mayor had a strong opponent and they both ran a very
serious campaign.”

Goodson also said Hieftje will continue working on his major
tenets of fiscal responsibility and nurturing and protecting the
environment. Among Hieftje’s main accomplishments was
supporting the Greenbelt Initiative to preserve parks and reduce
urban sprawl in Ann Arbor.

Lumm, who served on the council for three terms during the
1990s, said she felt good about her campaign, despite the loss.

“I want to congratulate Mayor Hieftje on running a
successful campaign. This election really wasn’t about
winning or losing, though. I feel I accomplished a lot, and through
the various debates and forums we created a lot of good dialogue. I
feel very positive. We did one for democracy,” Lumm said.

Carlberg, who faced two challengers, Green Party candidate Marc
Reichardt and Libertarian candidate Rich Birkett, came through with
an overwhelming victory. She received 6,318 votes, while Reichardt
received 644 and Birkett received 452 votes, as of 12:30 am.

“I’m glad to have won another election. I’m
looking forward to serving two more years on the city
council,” Carlberg said. “I think there will be a lot
of good opportunities in the next two years to work with students
and see how we can address their concerns.”

Carlberg, who was elected to her sixth term on the council, said
she will continue to work on a variety of projects in Ann Arbor,
including plans to create more affordable housing in the downtown
area.

Reichardt said he largely attributed his loss to people who
voted a straight Democratic ticket.

“If this is what the people want, this is what the people
get. For all the people who seem to complain about City Council,
there’s no other answer than to look at how they
voted,” Reichardt said.

Reichardt, who is the president of the Green Party of Michigan,
said he has no plans to run for any public offices in the near
future, but said he will not disappear from city politics.

While Birkett lost his bid for council, he won a victory with
yesterday’s passing of Proposal C. Birkett is the primary
author of Proposal C, which now legalizes medical marijuana in Ann
Arbor.

Council members Kim Groome (D-1st ward), Joan Lowenstein (D-2nd
ward), Margie Teall (D-4th ward) and Christ Easthope (D-5th ward),
also won re-election to the council, in uncontested races.

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