Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education recall, Michigan (2013)

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An effort to recall the Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education in Michigan was launched in July 2013. Six of the seven members of the board were targeted; the seventh member could not be targeted due to constraints in Michigan law. The effort did not go to a vote because recall supporters decided not to file a new petition after their first one was rejected for lack of clarity by county election officials.[1][2][3]


The effort to recall the Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education was led by Jody Huhn. Recall supporters targeted board members Susan Baskett, Simone Lightfoot, Glenn Nelson, Irene Patalan, Christine Stead and Andy Thomas. Board president Deb Mexicotte could not be targeted because she was most recently elected in November 2012, and Michigan law requires a one-year waiting period before the recall process can begin.[2]

In the six petitions, recall supporters provided the following reasons for the effort:[2]

(1) failure to demonstrate thoughtful consideration of constituent priorities; (2) failure to demonstrate transparency in decision-making; (3) failure to demonstrate cohesive and singular direction as evidenced by consistent split voting; (4) failure to provide sufficient backing and support for district superintendent position as evidenced by high turnover rate averaging 2.25 years per term.[4]

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing recall in Michigan

In Mid-July 2013, Jody Huhn filed six recall petitions with the Washtenaw County director of elections. A clarity and factual hearing was then scheduled for August 1. At that hearing, county election commissioners judge Donald E. Shelton, county clerk Larry Kestenbaum and county treasurer Catherine McClary rejected the petition for lack of clarity. On a side note, that day, Kestenbaum decried a December 2012 law requiring the board to rule the factuality of recall petition language as unconstitutional and stated he would only make decisions in regard to petition clarity.[2] [5][6][7]

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