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. … “
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.