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Eaton upsets Higgins, Kunselman holds off Grand in city council primaries

Jack Eaton won the Democratic primary for Ann Arbor City Council Ward 4 in a landslide.
Credit: Eaton's campaign website.

In tonight's Democratic primaries for Ann Arbor City Council, challenger Jack Eaton upset incumbent Marcia Higgins in Ward 4, while incumbent Stephen Kunselman held on against challenger Julie Grand in Ward 3.

Eaton won handily, 1233 votes (64.52%) to Higgins' 674 (35.27%) in a contest that he led throughout the evening. Higgins' campaign conceded within a half hour after the polls had closed, according to the time stamp of an AnnArbor.com article.

In contrast, Kunselman eked out a narrow victory, earning 927 votes (51.76%) to Grand's 862 (48.13%). The two candidates swapped leads, with Kunselman in first early but then Grand ahead as late as 9:10 P.M. Only when all the precincts had been counted at 10:06 P.M. did Kunselman get ahead and stay there.

Tonight was the third time Eaton had run for city council. The first two times, he ran against Margie Teall, the other council member from Ward 4. He lost, despite earning the Sierra Club's endorsement in 2012.

This year, Eaton had an advantage against Higgins, who had become known for a spotty attendence record at council meetings.

Eaton will appear unopposed on the November ballot, as there are no Republican or independent candidates running in Ward 4.

Kunselman is a three-term council member, having served in 2006-2008, then returning for two consecutive terms in 2009 to the present. He faced a tough challenge from Grand because of her well-funded campaign.

In November, Kunselman will face Samuel Devarti of the new Ann Arbor Mixed-Use Party to represent Ward 3. No Republican ran for the seat.