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2021 Election Recap

Jodi Westrick/Michigan Radio

Election returns are in from yesterday:

Ann Arbor voters approved a proposal for ranked choice voting by a large margin. The vote is symbolic because state law does not permit ranked choice voting.
Ranked choice allows people to vote for more than one candidate in order of preference. Mayor Chris Taylor says he hopes other cities will follow Ann Arbor's lead, and that the state legislature will take notice. “It's important we have a system that best reflects the will of the voters and I think a ranked choice system does that, it's good for democracy, it's good for Ann Arbor.
Taylor says ranked choice voting tends to encourage more people to run for office and thus gives voters more choices and greater diversity of candidates.

Meanwhile in Detroit, Mayor Mike Duggan was easily re-elected to a third term. Duggan beat Detroit’s former deputy mayor, Anthony Adams, taking home more than 70-percent of the vote.
Duggan briefly sketched out his vision for the next four years. He says the city will achieve his administration’s goal of eliminating residential blight during that time, either demolishing or rehabbing all the city’s vacant homes.
Duggan says for Detroiters who live in neighborhoods with a lot of vacant land, a new program will put more of that land back into community hands.
“We’re going to make that land available to the neighbors, so you can decide what do you want? Do you want a community garden, do you want a park? We’re going to move that property into the hands of the neighbors and create beauty in each of these communities.”
Duggan also promised to re-develop old industrial facilities into new manufacturing plants, and to make sure Detroiters get the bulk of new jobs there.

East Lansing residents chose three city council members in two races Tuesday.
A total of seven candidates vied for three seats on the East Lansing City Council. Five candidates ran for two four year terms and two candidates competed for a partial two year term.
In the race for the four year terms, incumbent Dana Watson and newcomer George Brookover defeated the remaining three candidates according to unofficial results.
Watson says she’s excited at the prospect of continuing to serve on the council. She currently serves as Mayor Pro tem.
“I have a four year purpose in this city that will be embedded in maintaining what's good, reducing harm and moving rocks.”
Brookover did not respond to a request for comment.
In a landslide win, Ron Bacon secured enough votes to remain on the council for the next two years.
“I'm really excited about the nature of the win and I feel like its just confirmation of the hard work of the campaign and all the people who supported me and everything else.”
Bacon was appointed last year to fill the vacancy left by former Mayor Ruth Beier.

Meanwhile, The city of Jackson is getting a new mayor.
Democratic County Commissioner Daniel Mahoney beat retired corrections worker John Wilson in Tuesday’s race to lead the city.
He’ll serve a two-year term starting in December. Mahoney will be the first Black mayor of Jackson. He had the endorsement of Jackson’s current mayor Derek Dobies, who did not seek re-election.

Andy Schor won a second term as Lansing mayor on Tuesday.
As unofficial results show Schor winning handily with over 60% of the vote against City Council Member Kathie Dunbar. Schor says voters responded to equity efforts including the city’s distribution of housing assistance amid COVID-19.
“They saw that Lansing was active in helping out to make sure that we were able to get through the pandemic stronger and we were successful in that.”
Incumbent Lansing Council Members Peter Spadafore, Jeremy Garza and Brian Jackson all kept their seats. They’ll be joined by newcomer Jeffrey Brown, who won an at-large spot.

In Potterville, voters chose not to reverse course on the city’s ban on marijuana businesses in Tuesday’s election.
The ballot measure was introduced by a group called the Eaton Cares Coalition. Their goal was to repeal Potterville’s ban on the sale of recreational cannabis.
Despite organizers’ efforts the proposal fell short by fewer than fifty votes.
Potterville is one of nearly two hundred Michigan communities that bans recreational marijuana businesses within city limits.