Sally Hart Petersen (b. 1964) served as a Democrat on the Ann Arbor City Council, representing Ward 2 from April 2012 to April 2014. After an unsuccessful bid for mayor in 2014, she ran against incumbent Jane Lumm – and lost – in the November 2015 general election for Ward 2 city council.

Sally Hart Petersen at a June 2014 mayoral candidate forum. (Photo courtesy of The Ann Arbor Chronicle.)

Rather than run for re-election in 2014 to the Ward 2 council seat, Petersen ran for mayor that year after incumbent John Hieftje decided not to seek another term. She was one of four candidates – all sitting city councilmembers – in the Aug. 5, 2014 Democratic primary. Other candidates were Sabra Briere (Ward 1), Stephen Kunselman (Ward 3) and Christopher Taylor (Ward 3). Taylor was the winner of the primary with 47.6% of the votes, followed by Briere (20%), Kunselman (16.5%) and Petersen (15.9%).

Petersen contributed significantly to her campaign – with $15,000 of her own money, plus $15,000 from her husband Tim Petersen, in pre-election contributions. ( Petersen's campaign finance filings are posted on the Washtenaw County elections division website.)

Petersen grew up in North Attleboro, Massachusetts as one of four daughters of an Episcopal minister and a psychotherapist. She graduated from Williams College in 1986 and from Harvard Business School in 1993. Between earning her undergraduate degree and attending business school, she worked in Columbus, Indiana as a marketing manager for Cummings Engine Company. In 1996, she moved to Ann Arbor with her husband and their five-week-old son Jack. Their daughter Jane was born here in 1998. 

In Ann Arbor, Petersen has held senior level marketing positions at CFI Group, ABN AMRO Mortgage Group, and HealthMedia. She also volunteered with several local nonprofits. She joined the Junior League of Ann Arbor in 1997, and served as president from 2002-2003.  She currently is a board member of the Neutral Zone, and is secretary of the Huron Athletic Booster Club. She served as president and co-president of the Tappan Middle School PTSO and Angell Elementary PTO, and on the boards of the Ann Arbor Art Center, the Ann Arbor Area Community Tennis Association, and the Racquet Club of Ann Arbor. 

Petersen is married to local venture capitalist Tim Petersen, who is currently managing director of Arboretum Ventures. They have two children – Jane and Jack – and live in the Ann Arbor Hills neighborhood on the city's east side.

Timeline: Sally Hart Peterson

  • Nov. 3, 2015: Is defeated by incumbent independent Jane Lumm in the general election. Petersen gets 1,250 votes (35.34%) compared to 2,280 votes (64.46%) for Lumm.
  • Aug. 4, 2015: Is unopposed in the Democratic primary election for Ward 2 Ann Arbor city council 
  • Jan. 29, 2015: Formalizes intent to seek election to the Ward 2 City Council seat held by independent Jane Lumm by taking out petitions to seek the nomination of the Democratic Party as a candidate in the Aug. 4, 2015 primary election.
  • November 2014: Term ends on City Council.
  • Aug. 5, 2014: Loses in a four-way Democratic primary election for mayor, with Christopher Taylor prevailing. Other candidates – Taylor, Sabra Briere, and Stephen Kunselman – were also sitting councilmembers. Taylor received 7,070 votes (47.6%) compared to Briere’s 2,967 (20%), Kunselman’s 2,447 (16.5%) and Petersen’s 2,364 (15.9%).
  • January 2014: Announces plans to run for mayor of Ann Arbor.
  • Nov. 6, 2012: Is unopposed in the general election and wins with 7,908 votes (98.27%).
  • Aug. 7, 2012: Wins Democratic primary for Ward 2 city council, defeating incumbent Tony Derezinski. Petersen gets 1,161 votes (55.23%) compared to 938 votes (44.62%) for Derezinski.
  • 2010: Joins board of the nonprofit Neutral Zone.
  • 2010-2012: Serves on the board of The Racquet Club of Ann Arbor.
  • 2006-2007: Serves on the New Rector Search Committee for St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Ann Arbor.
  • 2005-2007: Works as vice president of marketing for HealthMedia Inc.
  • 2005-2008: Serves as board member for the Ann Arbor Art Center and the Ann Arbor Area Community Tennis Association.
  • 2003-2005: Works as first vice president for ABN AMRO Mortgage and ABN AMRO/InterFirst.
  • 2002-2003: Serves as president of the Junior League of Ann Arbor.
  • 2001-2002: Serves as president-elect of the Junior League of Ann Arbor.
  • 1996-2001: Works as an associate consultant and eventually as director of marketing for CFI Group.
  • 1996: Moves to Ann Arbor.
  • 1993: Earns MBA from Harvard Business School.
  • DATE? Works as marketing manager for Cummings Engine Company in Columbus, Indiana.
  • 1986: Graduates from Williams College with a BA in psychology.
  • 1970: Family moves to North Attleboro, Massachusetts.
  • 1964: Born in Salem, Massachusetts – one of four daughters of an Episcopal minister and a psychotherapist.

In the news

Lumm defeats Petersen in Ward 2 – Michigan Daily, Nov. 4, 2015

Lumm defeats Petersen in 2nd Ward Ann Arbor council race – MLive, Nov. 3, 2015

Read letters of support for 2nd Ward candidate Jane Lumm – MLive, Nov. 1, 2015

2nd Ward voters in Ann Arbor to pick between Lumm and Petersen on Tuesday – MLive, Oct. 29, 2015

More than $58K pumped into 2nd Ward council race in Ann Arbor – MLive, Oct. 28, 2015

Ann Arbor City Council Ward 2 endorsement: Jane Lumm – MLive, Oct. 25, 2015

Ann Arbor deer cull controversy becomes election issue in 2nd Ward – MLive, Oct. 1, 2015

Sally Hart Petersen looking to return to Ann Arbor City Council this year – MLive, Feb. 2, 2015

By Precinct: How Taylor Won Ann Arbor – Ann Arbor Chronicle, Aug. 6, 2014

Four for Mayor: The candidates to succeed John Hieftje have very different visions of the city – Ann Arbor Observer, August 2014

From the Daily: Vote Petersen for mayoral primary – Michigan Daily, July 30, 2014

2014 Pre-Primary Finance: Donor Analysis – Ann Arbor Chronicle, July 28, 2014

Mayoral Election Finance 2014: Charts, Maps – Ann Arbor Chronicle, July 25, 2014

Mayoral candidate profile: Sally Hart Petersen discovered Ann Arbor years before moving here – MLive, July 24, 2014

Live Mayoral Forum: Affordable Housing – Ann Arbor Chronicle, July 15, 2014

Mayoral Candidate Forum: CTN Broadcast – Ann Arbor Chronicle, July 9, 2014

Column: Mayoral Folk, Easy Listening – Ann Arbor Chronicle, July 1, 2014

Chamber Forum: Ann Arbor Mayoral Race – Ann Arbor Chronicle, June 28, 2014

Live from Literati: Mayoral Candidate Debate – Ann Arbor Chronicle, June 25, 2014

Ann Arbor Dems Mayoral Candidate Forum – Ann Arbor Chronicle, June 15, 2014

Ann Arbor leaders weigh options to control deer population – WXYZ Action News (Detroit's ABC affiliate), May 7, 2014

Candidate Forum Focuses on Downtown – Ann Arbor Chronicle, May 1, 2014

VIDEO: Ann Arbor Mayor candidate forum – Michigan Daily, April 16, 2014

Town Hall: Four Mayoral Candidates – Ann Arbor Chronicle, April 16, 2014

Petersen Also Running for Mayor – Ann Arbor Chronicle, Jan. 15, 2014

Final Roundup: Ann Arbor Nov. 6 Election – Ann Arbor Chronicle, Nov. 7, 2012

2012 Ann Arbor Council Primary Roundup – Ann Arbor Chronicle, Aug. 8, 2012

Petersen beats Derezinski in 2nd Ward race for Ann Arbor City Council –, Aug. 7, 2012

2nd Ward candidates Petersen and Derezinski debate the issues one last time before Tuesday's primary –, Aug. 1, 2012

City Council Campaign Finance Crosses Wards – Ann Arbor Chronicle, July 28, 2012

Ann Arbor Council Ward 2: Sally or Tony? – Ann Arbor Chronicle, July 18, 2012

Derezinski vs. Petersen: 2nd Ward race for Ann Arbor City Council shaping up –, May 9, 2012


Contributing to this Page

For some existing timeline elements more precise dates would be desirable. Update strategy: Add timeline elements and news links as history unfolds.