In August 2007, Richard Wickboldt made an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination for the First Ward seat on City Council previously held by Bob Johnson, who chose not to continue his service on Council. The August 2007 primary in the First Ward was a three-way race between Wickboldt, Sabra Briere and John Roberts. The primary, as well as the subsequent general election to the seat, was won by Briere. Primary vote totals were 421 votes for Briere, compared with 309 for Roberts and 178 for Wickboldt. Only 4.91% of registered voters participated in the August 2007 First Ward primary.

In his Council campaign, Wickboldt stressed his budgetary acumen, citing his position as Manager of the University of Michigan Power Plant.

Wickboldt's green credentials extend beyond exploration of alternative energy sources for increasing efficiency at the University of Michigan Power Plant to various solar projects he has undertaken on a DIY basis in his own home.

Although he grew up in the New York City area, and moved from New York with his family to Ann Arbor to take the position of Power Plant Manager, he is self-described as more of a "small town person."