Together, Lumm and challenger Sally Hart Petersen spent at least $58,000 battling over Lumm’s Second Ward seat (see “The Second Ward War,” November). “It’s crazy,” says Lumm. who served two terms as a Republican in the 1990s and returned to council as an independent in 2011. She says her team raised about $27,000 or $28,000 and “spent everything we raised to get our message out.”

Petersen, a Democrat, spent at least $30,000, including $15,000 she and her husband, Tim, contributed themselves. “I have been criticized for self-funding,” the challenger acknowledged by email the day after the election. “I’ve never sent a fund-raising letter. I have spent so much of my time as a Board Member of several non-profits. It feels awkward asking my friends to give money to my campaign while I am also asking them to donate to several worthy non-profits.”

Final figures will be released in December, but there’s no question that Petersen spent more than any previous candidate. She also had the endorsement of mayor Christopher Taylor and the help of Taylor’s 2014 campaign manager, Brad O’Furey (ne O’Conner), who encouraged her to run and managed her campaign. Yet she got only 36 percent of the vote.

The mayor endorsed four candidates running against his council opponents this year. Two of them–Zach Ackerman in Ward 3 and Chip Smith in Ward 5–defeated incumbents in the August primary, while Fourth Ward rep Jack Eaton successfully defended his seat. All won unopposed in the general election, so Petersen’s defeat gives Taylor a .500 batting average.

How big a role did money play in the outcome? “I have no idea,” Lumm says in a phone interview. “We did the things we determined we needed to do.” Petersen minimizes its importance: “We are seeing more and more that money plays less of a part in local elections than grass roots efforts,” she writes.

Petersen also downplays Taylor’s role, saying it helped her only “maybe some. He endorsed my campaign but did not actively campaign for me.” On the other hand, she believes, “The MLIVE [Ann Arbor News editorial] endorsement really helped Jane.”

Also endorsing Lumm were the surviving members of council’s “back to basics” caucus, Eaton and Sumi Kailasapathy, plus Mike Anglin and Steve Kunselman, who lost their seats in the primary.

“I don’t think anybody was surprised by who supported who in this race,” says Taylor with a smile.

But the mayor points to other factors he believes were more important than endorsements: “Jane has an active and committed base and has worked very hard for her constituents. This year in particular, there were a large number of issues before council that were very important to voters in the Second Ward.”

“I hope it’s about issues, not friends,” says O’Furey, Petersen’s campaign manager. And he concedes that “a few [issues] came up–the deer cull and Nixon Farms–that Jane had a better answer for. That’s not to say our answer was the wrong answer. But the voters in the Second Ward wanted to go with her answer. Sally raised concerns about guns and firearms in the parks, so she was labeled as anti-cull.”

“If I lost this election because I don’t want to kill the deer, then I accept that,” Petersen writes. “I am not willing to compromise my principles and values for votes.”

“It’s an important issue,” Lumm says. “We heard both sides going door to door. We were inundated with feedback.” Despite this, the incumbent says “I don’t know how critical it was to the election. Was it the decisive issue? I wouldn’t say that.”

Development also may have played a role. “There was an anonymous flyer distributed proclaiming Jane’s opposition to the Nixon Farms development” off Plymouth Rd., Petersen writes. “The results suggest there is a lot of NIMBYism in our ward.”

Petersen supported the project. Lumm says she does, too, but wants to make it better–and so voted against it at first reading. She says that may have misled a supporter who wrote and distributed his own letter declaring her an opponent of the project. “It is awkward, to say the least,” Lumm says. “Did it influence people? I don’t know.”

One issue that didn’t gain traction was Petersen’s call for a more muscular city economic development program. Though it was obviously based on personal conviction–Petersen ran for mayor on the same platform last year–she was never able to clearly define why it was needed or how it would work. With this year’s decisive defeat following Petersen’s last-place finish in the mayoral race, it’s unlikely to attract another champion.

This will be Lumm’s third consecutive term on council and fifth overall. Before the election, she said that if reelected it would be her last term. Asked again afterward, her answer is less definitive: “I don’t know.”

Will Petersen challenge her if she does? “Ask me again in two years,” she replies.

This article has been edited since it was published in the December 2015 Ann Arbor Observer. The spelling of Brad O’Conner has been corrected.