Incumbent Ilitch, challenger Weiser elected to board of regents

November 10, 2016  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership

Regent Denise Ilitch will return to the board of regents for a second eight-year term, and challenger Ron Weiser has been elected to fill the other open position on the University of Michigan’s governing board.

With all precincts reporting statewide, Ilitch, a Democrat, was the top vote-getter in Tuesday’s election with 2,028,649 votes, or 24.64 percent of ballots cast. Weiser, who will become the eight-member board’s third Republican, drew 1,933,376 votes, or 23.48 percent.

Republican challenger Carl Meyers finished third, with 1,866,524 votes, or 22.67 percent, and Regent Laurence B. Deitch, a Democrat seeking his fourth term on the board, drew 1,777,378 votes, or 21.59 percent.

Meanwhile, Justice Joan Larsen, an adjunct professor of law, was elected to complete a partial term on the Michigan Supreme Court, to which she had been appointed in September 2015. Larsen drew 2,014,378 votes, or 58.66 percent, and will complete the term that expires Jan. 1, 2019.

Two others who work at U-M lost their bids for eight-year terms on the State Board of Education. Democrats John Austin, a lecturer in LSA, and Ish Ahmed, senior adviser to the chancellor at UM-Dearborn, finished third and fourth, respectively. Austin, an incumbent, received 1,909,066 votes, or 22.70 percent, while Ahmed drew 1,695,342 votes, or 20.16 percent.

Ilitch is president of Ilitch Enterprises and co-owner of 220 Restaurant Hospitality. She was previously elected to the board of regents in 2008. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from U-M in 1977 and her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Detroit in 1980.

Weiser founded McKinley Associates Inc., a national real estate investment company, in 1968 and was its chairman and chief executive officer until 2001. He served as U.S. ambassador to the Slovak Republic under President George W. Bush. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business from U-M in 1966. He did post-graduate work at U-M’s business and law schools.

Other candidates for the board of regents and their vote totals are:

  • Audra Driscoll, U.S. Taxpayers: 125,983.
  • John Jascob, Libertarian: 125,482
  • James Lewis Hudler, Libertarian: 122,187
  • Latham Redding, Green: 99,327
  • Bridgette Abraham-Guzman, Natural Law: 84,238
  • Richard A. Hewer, U.S. Taxpayers: 69,793.