In the only contested seats for yesterday’s city election, incumbents Sabra Briere and Marcia Higgins both beat out their opponents to claim two-year terms on the Ann Arbor City Council.
Higgins defeated LSA senior Hatim Elhady in the 4th Ward contest with 62.11 percent of the vote, according to unofficial elections results at 12:55 a.m, after 122 of the 124 precincts were counted. Briere, who was running for a seat in the 1st Ward, defeated independent Mitchell Ozog with 77.84 percent of the vote.
In the uncontested races, incumbents Mike Anglin and Stephen Rapundalo both won re-election in the 5th Ward and 3rd Ward, respectively. Former Councilmember Stephen Kunselman also won an uncontested race on Tuesday to represent the city’s 3rd Ward.
In a phone interview last night, Higgins told The Michigan Daily she was pleased with the elections’ results. She said that she would hope in the coming years that University students would have a stronger voice in the affairs of the city.
“I (would like) to see students get more involved and I think we need to find ways to do that,” she said. “There are task forces and commissions that I think their input would be very invaluable.”
Higgins’ campaign leading up to the Nov. 4 election emphasized her experiences and efficiency on the council. She told the Daily earlier this week that if elected she would push for re-zoning to provide more growth and development downtown, as well as fixing city budget issues.
“I have spent decades in Ann Arbor — volunteering for local nonprofits, raising my family and working on city government issues,” she told the Daily. “City Council is not a game. It’s a serious business that requires a real understanding of our government and our community.”
Higgins was first elected to Ann Arbor City Council in 1999 as a Republican and re-elected in 2005 and 2007 as a Democrat.
When asked what she thought of Elhady’s campaign, Higgins refused to comment.
Elhady held a watch party at Casa Dominick’s last night, where about a dozen people gathered to support him. The supporters included family, close friends and some local politicians who supported his campaign.
In an interview last night at the watch party, Elhady told the Daily that he spent the day of the election driving people to the polls and making sure his signs were visible around town. He also said that he had supporters stationed nearby all of the polling stations.
Despite the loss, Elhady did not want the supporters gathered at the bar last night to be disappointed by the results.
“This isn’t a funeral,” he said. “We did our best, we worked hard, and that’s what matters.”
Multiple calls placed to Briere’s home phone and cell phone were not returned late last night.
The Daily called Rapundalo’s house phone and his wife answered, saying her husband was out of town at that time and could not be reached.
This year’s general city elections had a 21.58 percent voter turnout, with only 59,993 ballots casted out of the 277,348 registered voters in Washtenaw County.
At the Michigan Union precinct only .99 percent of the registered voters cast a ballot — which is only 45 out the 4,537 registered voters there. The Bursley Residence Hall precinct had a 1.51 percent voter turnout. The Mary Markley, East Quad and South Quad Residence Hall precincts had a .80 percent, 3.06 percent and 2.64 percent voter turnout, respectively.
—Daily News Editor Trevor Calero and Daily Staff Reporter Dylan Cinti contributed to this report.