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4 incumbents, 7 challengers file for Lansing City Council


This story has been updated to include late-arriving biographical details from Farhan Sheik-Omar and to reflect that James Pyle is running in the First Ward.

Seven challengers will face four incumbents for seats on Lansing’s City Council in the Aug. 6 primary election.

President Carol Wood and Patricia Spitzley will compete against political newcomer Terry Eagle and unsuccessful 2017 candidates Yanice Jackson-Long and Julee Rodocker for two at-large spots. Jody Washington, 1st Ward, will face four challengers. Councilman Adam Hussain is unopposed in the 3rd Ward.

Here’s a look at who filed by Tuesday’s 4 p.m. deadline:


Carol Wood

Wood, 68, who was raised in Lansing was re-elected to her fifth term on the City Council in 2015, she ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2009. Wood owns and operates her own neighborhood-oriented consulting firm and serves as executive director for RSVP of Ingham, Eaton, and Clinton counties, a volunteer-based retirees program.

Patricia Spitzley

Spitzley, 54, was elected to the City Council in 2015 and was elected as its president the following year. She has undergraduate degrees from Lansing Community College and Central Michigan University and a law degree from Michigan State University. Spitzley is a redevelopment manager at Racer Trust with a background in environmental regulation and policy, legal affairs and community outreach.

Terry Eagle

Eagle, 62, is a retiree who has lived in Lansing since 1981. He’s a disability services advocate and has served as an ombudsman for small business owners and people with disabilities since 2005. He has a bachelor’s degree from Ferris State University and a master’s degree from the University of Southern California. His employers include Lansing Hospitality Services and the Community Mental Health Authority. He also serves on the Downtown Business District Advisory Board and on the board of the Waverly Schools Education Foundation.

Yanice Jackson-Long

Jackson-Long, 40, ran unsuccessfully for at-large in the 2017 primary. She attended Lansing Public Schools and is a clerk for the Ingham County Treasurer’s Office. She has degrees in broadcast journalism from Eastern Michigan University and business administration from Clark Atlanta University. She is active in the Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council and the Lansing branch of the NAACP, among other organizations.

Julee Rodocker

Rodocker, 49, is a lifelong Lansing resident and an electric materials buyer at Consumers Energy. She lost a bid for an at-large seat on the Lansing school board in 2014 and the City Council in 2017. She’s a Michigan State University graduate who retired after 22 years at Meijer. She’s a commissioner for the Lansing Police Department.

First Ward:

Jody Washington

Washington, 62, is seeking her third term representing the east side. She’s a full-time grievance and litigation specialist at the state Department of Corrections and has also worked part-time as a nursing assistant.

Brandon Betz

Betz, 28, is a senior analyst with Anderson Economic Group with a focus on public policy and economics. He has a master’s degree in economics from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Brigham Young University. His background includes experimental economics, tax policy and research on statewide workforce programs and workforce development. He also volunteers on the board for the Young Professional Alzheimer’s Advocates of Lansing and serves on the sponsorship committee for Grand River Connection.

Scott Hughes

Hughes, 49, is the juvenile justice and community outreach coordinator for the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from MSU and a background in political consulting. Hughes previously worked to garner votes for East Lansing’s recent successful income tax proposal and has served as vice chairman of the Ingham County Democratic Party.

Farhan Sheik-Omar

Sheik-Omar, a 24-year-old Kenyan refugee, ran a failed primary campaign for Michigan’s 68th House District against Rep. Sarah Anthony last year. He studies political science at Lansing Community College, plans to transfer to Michigan State University and works as an assistant teacher for Ingham ISD.

James Pyle

Pyle, 41, a Realtor for 15 years, attended Lansing Public Schools. He bills himself as a neighborhood advocate. He served Mayor Andy Schor’s transition team on the Neighborhoods and Public Safety Committee and has done volunteer work at the Allen Neighborhood Center.

Third Ward:

Adam Hussain

Hussain, 37, is seeking his second term representing southside Lansing. He has a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Central Michigan University. Hussain is a social studies teacher at Waverly Community Schools.


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