Stephen Rapundalo (b. 1952), a former Pfizer researcher, currently serves as the Executive Director for life sciences trade group MichBio. He served as a Democrat on the Ann Arbor City Council representing Ward 2 from November 2005 to November 2011.

Stephen Rapundalo at a July 19, 2010 Ann Arbor city council meeting. (Photo courtesy of The Ann Arbor Chronicle.)

Rapundalo ran for mayor as a Republican in 2000 and lost to Democrat John Hieftje in Hieftje's first race for mayor. Rapundalo was elected to the Ann Arbor City Council as a Ward 2 representative in 2005, when he ran as a Democrat, defeating GOP candidate Thomas Bourque. In 2007, Rapundalo defeated write-in candidate Ed Amonsen in a close race. He did not face an opponent in 2009.

In 2011, Rapundalo faced a Democratic challenger, Tim Hull, in the August primary. He won with the smallest margin of any incumbent facing a primary challenge that year. He lost his seat to independent challenger Jane Lumm in the November 2011 general election. Both Lumm and Rapundalo had formerly run for office as Republicans.

During Rapundalo's tenure on council, he pushed unsuccessfully for a ban on plastic bags. He also chaired a council-created committee that reviewed proposals for development of the top of the Library Lane underground parking structure. He, along with the full committee, supported a proposal by Valiant for a hotel/conference center, but the proposal did not receive support from a majority of city councilmembers.

He is married to Anne Rapundalo. They live on the city's northeast side, near Thurston Pond.

Timeline: Stephen Rapundalo

  • July 20, 2015. Proposal to re-appoint Rapundalo to the LDFA goes before Ann Arbor City Council.
  • Dec. 5, 2011: Is appointed to the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti SmartZone local development finance authority (LDFA) by his former city council colleagues. The term ends on June 30, 2015.
  • Nov. 8, 2011: Loses general election to former Republican city councilmember Jane Lumm, who runs as an independent. Lumm gets 2,079 votes (60.37%) compared to 1,359 votes (39.46%) for Rapundalo.
  • Aug. 2, 2011: Wins Democratic primary for Ward 2 city council seat, defeating Tim Hull. Rapundalo gets 573 votes (54.41%) compare to 419 votes (41.98%) for Hull.
  • Nov. 3, 2009: Wins re-election for a third term to represent Ward 2 on the city council, with no opponents on the ballot. Rapundalo gets 2,685 votes (94.81%). He also had been unopposed in the August 2009 Democratic primary.
  • Nov. 6, 2007: Runs as a Democrat and wins re-election for a second term to represent Ward 2 on the city council. He was unopposed in the August 2007 Democratic primary and there was no other candidate on the ballot for the general election. However, Ed Amonsen mounted a strong write-in campaign. Rapundalo wins with 843 votes (51.62%) compared to 790 write-in votes (48.38%).
  • April 2006: Is hired as executive director for MichBio, an Ann Arbor-based life sciences trade group.
  • 2005: Gets laid off from Pfizer.
  • Nov. 8, 2005: Wins general election for Ward 2 city council against Republican Thomas Bourque, an attorney. Rapundalo gets 1,574 votes (52.17%) compared to 1,436 votes (47.6%) for Bourque.
  • Aug. 5, 2005: Wins the Democratic primary for Ward 2 Ann Arbor city council against Eugene Kang. Rapundalo gets 575 votes (54.5%) compared to 480 votes (45.5%) for Kang.
  • Nov. 7, 2000: Runs as a Republican for Ann Arbor mayor and loses in the general election to Democrat John Hieftje. Also in the race is Libertarian Charles Goodman. (Rapundalo later switched parties and was elected in 2005 to city council representing Ward 2 as a Democrat.) Hieftje gets 34,111 votes (68.34%) compared to 13,946 votes (27.94%) for Rapundalo and 1,849 votes (3.7%) for Goodman.
  • July 2000: Is promoted to research fellow at Pfizer's Ann Arbor labs.
  • 2000: Becomes a U.S. citizen, holding dual citizenship in Canada.
  • October 1987: Starts work at Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Pharmaceutical Research in Ann Arbor (later acquired by Pfizer Inc. in 2000) as a senior scientist, and is later promoted to an associate research fellow. Most of his work relates to cardiovascular drug discovery.
  • 1987: Completes post-doctoral work in pharmacology and cell biophysics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.
  • 1983: Earns PhD in physiology from the Virginia Commonwealth University, Medical College of Virginia.
  • DATE? Born in Canada.

In the news

Q&A: Stephen Rapundalo, president & CEO, MichBio – MiBiz, Sept. 29, 2013

Why a convention center can’t pass no – The Ann Magazine, June 2013

Interview with Stephen Rapundalo – Global Detroit, May 20, 2013

Rapundalo, Taylor, Jacobson on LDFA – Ann Arbor Chronicle, Dec. 5, 2011

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

Jane Lumm beats Stephen Rapundalo in 2nd Ward Race for Ann Arbor City Council –, Nov. 8, 2011

Three-Party Monte: The Nov. 8 City Election – Ann Arbor Observer, November 2011

2011 Election: Ward 2 City Council – Ann Arbor Chronicle, Oct. 16, 2011

General Election 2011: City Council Money – Ann Arbor Chronicle, Oct. 9, 2011

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

Ann Arbor Dems Primary: Two for Ward 2 – Ann Arbor Chronicle, July 27, 2011

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

Ann Arbor Elections Past: Voting Patterns – Ann Arbor Chronicle, July 24, 2011

Ann Arbor Ward 2: Democratic Primary 2011 – Ann Arbor Chronicle, June 15, 2011

Column on Hoops: Basketball, Civics – Ann Arbor Chronicle, March 11, 2011

Work Session Called on Conference Center – Ann Arbor Chronicle, March 11, 2011

Hotel/Conference Center Ideas Go Forward – Ann Arbor Chronicle, Jan. 25, 2010

Library Lot Math: 6 – 2 + 2 = 6 – Ann Arbor Chronicle, Jan. 9, 2010

Ann Arbor sets plastic bag ban in motion – Ann Arbor News, July 21, 2008

Michigan life sciences exec Stephen Rapundalo calls for businesses to embrace internships – Ann Arbor News, May 29, 2008

Stephen Rapundalo, Guest Blogger – Metromode, 2008

Interview with Stephen Rapundalo regarding the closure of Pfizer's Ann Arbor labs – Jack Lessenberry Show, January 25, 2007

Interview with Stephen Rapundalo – Teeter Talk, March 15, 2006

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.