Conan Smith has announced he’ll be running in the August 3rd Democratic primary for a seat on the Washtenaw County Commission. Smith is currently the Land Programs Director of the Michigan Environmental Council, and chairs Ann Arbor’s Cool Cities Task Force, of which I am a member. Smith’s only opponent is David Stead, a former City Council member and environmental advocate. I don’t know David Stead, but he also sounds like a competent and qualified candidate. However, having worked with Conan Smith on the Cool Cities Task Force, I think he would make an excellent public official. Smith told the Ann Arbor News he plans to run on a platform of “developing a comprehensive transportation system, fiscal responsibility and smart growth.” Here’s more from the article:

“… Smith, 32, is the grandson of Al Wheeler, Ann Arbor’s first and only African-American mayor, and the son of Alma Wheeler Smith, the former state senator and one-time gubernatorial candidate. His aunt, Nancy Francis, is a Washtenaw County Probate Court Judge. …

David Stead, a former Ann Arbor City Council member, also announced his candidacy last week after nearly a decade out of public office.

Stead, a former environmental lobbyist, is co-founder the Center for Environmental Policy, which does consulting in the private and public sectors.

He also is a member of Ann Arbor’s Environmental Commission and Recycling Commission, and plans to campaign on land-use and environmental issues, along with regionalization of services. … “

> AANews: “Conan Smith follows family tradition with a bid for office”
> Conan Smith’s campaign website

Smith’s short but pithy list of endorsements already includes U-M History Professor Matt Lassiter, longtime City Council member Wendy Woods, in addition to his mother former State Senator Alma Wheeler Smith, and his fiance and director of MARAL Rebekah Warren.

Author: Rob