The Ann Arbor News weighed in on next month’s Democratic primary by issuing its endorsements for City Council on Sunday afternoon. The newspaper endorsed three incumbents and one challenger.
The paper’s endorsements follow those of the mayor, labor unions, and environmental organizations. The mayor supports three of the challengers in the primaries, while the unions and environmentalists generally endorsed the incumbents, as reported by The Michigan Daily.
In the Ward 1 contest, incumbent Sabra Briere faces challenger Will Leaf, a recent University of Michigan graduate who runs his own business. Despite calling Leaf “a bright and engaged newcomer to city politics and has some creative ideas in regard to city planning,” the Ann Arbor News endorsed Briere, writing her “extensive knowledge of city planning and development and other issues benefits all residents of the city.”
Briere also has the endorsement of the Huron Valley Central Labor Council. Leaf, a former co-chair of the now defunct Mixed Use Party, has the support of former Ann Arbor City Attorney Elizabeth Schwartz.
Ward 3 incumbent Stephen Kunselman is fending off a challenge from University of Michigan student Zachary Ackerman. While the newspapers liked “Ackerman’s approach to discussing city issues with a degree of understanding that can be rare among first-time candidates” and encouraged him to remain involved in city politics, it endorsed Kunselman, praising his “demonstrated ability to navigate through complicated issues, such as affordable housing, and his consistent advocacy for his ward.” Kunselman has also been endorsed by the Sierra Club, Michigan Chapter and the Sierra Club, Huron Valley Group.
Ackerman enjoys the support of Ann Arbor Mayor Chris Taylor. Taylor was quoted by the Ann Arbor News saying about Ackerman and candidate for Ward 4 Chip Smith that they “approach local government very much in the same way I do. I focus first and foremost on the provision of basic services.” Ackerman also has the endorsement of the Huron Valley Central Labor Council and former Mayor John Hieftje.
The paper also endorsed the incumbent in Ward 4, Jack Eaton, writing “Eaton has served residents of his ward well.” Of his challenger, Jaime Magiera, a systems administrator at the University of Michigan, the Ann Arbor News wrote that it liked his “focus on sustainable development.”
Eaton has the support of both labor and environmental groups with the endorsements of the Huron Valley Central Labor Council, the Sierra Club, Michigan Chapter, and the Sierra Club, Huron Valley Group. Magiera, like most of the other challegers, has the support of Mayor Taylor.
Chip Smith was the only challenger endorsed by the Ann Arbor News. Smith is facing incumbent Mike Anglin for the Democratic nomination in Ward 5. The paper was “confident in the experience Smith, an urban planning professional and more than 20-year resident of Ann Arbor, offers to voters.” Smith also has the support of the Mayor.
Anglin has been endorsed by the state and local chapters of the Sierra Club. In a press release, they called Anglin “a true environmental champion for our city and natural environment.”
The winners of the primary next Tuesday will likely go on to the general election unopposed, as there are no Republican candidates. That could change, as independent candidates can still file after the primary.