Steve Kunselman (Photo courtesy of The Ann Arbor Chronicle.)Stephen Kunselman is an outgoing member of the Ann Arbor City Council representing Ward 3, having lost the August 4, 2015 Democratic primary to 21-year-old UM undergraduate student Zachary Ackerman. 

He was first elected in 2006 for a two-year term representing Ward 3. When he ran for re-election in 2008, he was defeated in the Democratic primary by Christopher Taylor. A year later, in the 2009 Democratic primary, Kunselman beat incumbent Leigh Greden.

He was re-elected in 2011. He was re-elected again in 2013, defeating Democrat Julie Grand in the August 2013 primary election and independent candidate Sam DeVarti in the November 2013 general election. In October 2014, he pulled petitions to run for the Ward 3 council seat again in 2015. He lost to fellow Democrat Zachary Ackerman in the Aug. 4, 2015 primary.

He came in third in the mayoral race in the August 2014 Democratic primary with less than 17% of the vote.

Before serving on city council, Kunselman had served on the Ann Arbor Planning Commission from 2004-2008. His service on city boards, committee and commissions, by virtue of his city council position, include stints on the taxicab board, brownfield review committee, labor committee, housing board of appeals, and audit committee. He also has served on the environmental commission, park advisory commission and housing commission.

He works as an Energy Conservation Liaison for the University of Michigan, handling outreach and communications for the Planet Blue Operations Team.

Kunselman is married to Letitia Kunselman, a school teacher. They have four children from their previous marriages. Their home is in southeast Ann Arbor, near the Mary Beth Doyle Park southwest of Packard and Platt.

His website is http://www.kunselmanforcouncil.com/

Timeline: Stephen Kunselman

  • Aug. 4, 2015: Kunselman's bid to win re-election to his Ward 3 City Council seat falls short when he receives 907 votes (48.9%) compared to Zachary Ackerman's 947 (51%).
  • June 13, 2015: Participates in Ann Arbor Democratic Party candidate forum, along with challenger Zack Ackerman.
  • Jan. 14, 2015: Kunselman no longer planning fight against recall campaign
  • Jan. 6, 2015: Kunselman planning fight against recall campaign
  • Dec. 2, 2014: Homeless community launching recall campaign
  • Nov. 24, 2014: City clerk's office confirms 118 valid signatures for Kunselman's petitions to seek the nomination of the Democratic Party in the Aug. 4, 2015 primary.
  • Oct. 28, 2014: Takes out petitions to run for re-election in Ward 3 in 2015.
  • Aug. 5, 2014: Comes in third in a four-way Democratic primary election for mayor. Other candidates – Christopher TaylorSabra Briere, and Sally Petersen – 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%).
  • Nov. 6, 2013: Wins general election for a fourth two-year term representing Ward 3 against independent Sam DeVarti. Gets 1,545 votes (70.42%) compared to 618 votes (28.17%) for DeVarti.
  • Sept. 27, 2013: Pulls petitions to run for mayor of Ann Arbor in 2014.
  • Aug. 6, 2013: Wins Democratic primary for Ward 3 council against challenger Julie Grand. Gets 927 votes (51.76%) compared to Grand's 862 votes (48.13%)
  • Nov. 8, 2011: Wins general election for Ward 3 council seat against Republican David Parker. Kunselman gets 1,738 votes (77.28%) compared to 482 votes (21.43%) for Parker.
  • Aug. 2, 2011: Prevails in a three-way Democratic primary for Ward 3 city council against  Ingrid Alt and Marwan Issa. Kunselman gets 637 votes (58.87%) compared to Ault's 389 votes (35.95%) and Issa's 55 votes (5.08%).
  • November 2009: Wins general election for Ward 3 city council – he is unopposed.
  • August 2009: Wins three-way Democratic primary for the Ward 3 council seat, defeating incumbent Leigh Greden (a supporter of Christopher Taylor, who beat Kunselman in 2008) and LuAnne Bullington. Kunselman got 511 votes (36.45%) compared to 505 (36.02%) for Greden and 382 (27.25%) for Bullington. Greden requested a recount, which was conducted on August 28, 2009. The vote remained unchanged after the recount. 
  • August 2008: Loses his re-election attempt in the Democratic primary election to Christopher Taylor.
  • 2006-2008Highlights of his legislative efforts include the backyard chicken ordinance, the skate park, and reform of the sidewalk vendor ordinance
  • November 2006: Wins general election against Green Party candidate Peter Schermerhorn. Kunselman receives 6,189 votes (83.3%) to Schermerhorn's 1,194 (16.17%).
  • August 2006: Wins Democratic primary for Ward 3 city council for a two-year term.
  • June 20, 2005: Is nominated by mayor John Hiefjte and confirmed by the city council for reappointment to a full term on the Ann Arbor planning commission, from July 5, 2005 to June 30, 2008.
  • Nov. 8, 2004: Is nominated by mayor John Hieftje and confirmed by the city council to serve a partial term on the Ann Arbor planning commission. He fills a vacancy left by Steve Thorpe for a term from Nov. 22, 2004 to June 30, 2005.
  • May 2004: Starts job as Energy Conservation Liaison for the University of Michigan.
  • 2003: Works for six months as Ypsilanti Township planning director.
  • 1998-2003: Works as the administrator for Wayne County's Sumpter Township.
  • 1992-1998: Works as environmental planner for Wayne County's Sumpter Township.
  • DATES? Previous work experience includes working as a summer intern for the City of Ann Arbor's Forestry Department, as a driver for Recycle Ann Arbor, as a movie projectionist for the Michigan Theater, and as a stagehand for Local 395, I.A.T.S.E.
  • 1990: Earns masters degrees in urban planning and landscape architecture from the University of Michigan.
  • 1986: Earns BS in natural resources from the University of Michigan.
  • DATE?: Studies for two years at Lake Superior State University before transferring to the University of Michigan.
  • 1981: Graduated from Ann Arbor Community High School and Pioneer High School.
  • DATE?: Born to Elizabeth Moray and James Haven. His grandparents, Don and Helen Moray, were founding members of St. Francis of Assisi Parish. 

Sources

2011 city council campaign site

In the news

Ann Arbor Democratic Party candidate forum – June 13, 2015 video posted on YouTube

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

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: Stephen Kunselman proud to be an Ann Arbor 'townie' – MLive, July 23, 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

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 

 City Council Incumbents, AAPS Tax Win – Ann Arbor Chronicle, Nov. 6, 2013

Eaton, Kunselman Prevail in Primaries – Ann Arbor Chronicle, Aug. 7, 2013

Ann Arbor City Council Dems 2013: Finance – Ann Arbor Chronicle, July 26, 2013

Grand vs. Kunselman: 3rd Ward race for Ann Arbor City Council heating up – AnnArbor.com, July 25, 2013

Ward 3 Dem Primary: Kunselman or Grand – Ann Arbor Chronicle, July 20, 2013

Dems Forum Part 2: How Loud Is Loud? – Ann Arbor Chronicle, June 11, 2013

Coverage of the June 8th, 2013 Ann Arbor Democrats Candidate Forum – Ann Arbor Chronicle, June 8, 2013

General Election 2011: Results Roundup – Ann Arbor Chronicle, Nov. 9, 2011

Incumbents Win Ann Arbor Dem Primaries – Ann Arbor Chronicle, Aug. 2, 2011

Democratic Primary 2011: Mapping Money – Ann Arbor Chronicle, July 26, 2011

Recount Confirms: Kunselman Wins – Ann Arbor Chronicle, Aug. 28, 2009

 Ward 3: Stephen Kunselman vs. Christopher Taylor – Arbor Update Voter Guide, 2008:

 Six Questions: Stephen Kunselman – Ann Arbor Chronicle, Nov. 11, 2008

 Steve Kunselman: Courage of his Convictions – Progressives of Washtenaw Candidate Endorsement, 2008

 Your new neighbors in Ann Arbor? Chickens, possibly – Ann Arbor News, Dec. 1, 2007

 Steve Kunselman interview – Teeter Talk, 2006

From the Daily: Councilman Kunselman – Michigan Daily editorial, October 2006

News references

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.