Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners District 9
Conan Smith is running for his eighth consecutive term on the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners. He faces Katie Scott in the Aug. 7 Democratic primary. The winner will compete against Republican Stuart Berry in the Nov. 6 general election.
Smith is a part-time lecturer at the University of Michigan Ford School of Public Policy and a partner with Adaptive Strategies, an Ann Arbor consulting firm. He also serves as special projects director for state Rep. Ronnie Peterson of Ypsilanti, who previously served on the county board with Smith.
Smith was the former executive director of Metro Matters/Michigan Suburbs Alliance, a nonprofit based in Ferndale. That organization is now defunct.
Smith was elected to his first two-year term on the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners in November 2004, and has been re-elected every two years since then. He resigned as commissioner effective Aug. 20, 2016 because of a conflict related to a job he was seeking at the county. He later withdrew his application for that job and ran for re-election, defeating write-in candidates Jen Eyer and Jeff Hayner.
Smith has served on a variety of entities in his capacity as county commissioner, including Ann Arbor SPARK and the Washtenaw County parks and recreation commission. He was founding board president of Michigan Saves, a statewide nonprofit established by the Michigan Public Service Commission to finance energy efficiency projects. Prior to joining the Michigan Suburbs Alliance in 2004, Smith worked for six years with the Michigan Environmental Council as a program director.
Smith earned his bachelor’s degree in creative writing and literature from the University of Michigan's Residential College. He is the grandson of Al Wheeler, Ann Arbor's first black mayor, and the son of Alma Wheeler Smith, a former county commissioner and former state legislator. Until 2017 he was married to Rebekah Warren, who is running for the Michigan House of Representatives in District 55. He lives on Ann Arbor's Old West Side.
Rebekah Warren is serving as Smith's campaign treasurer.
Conan Smith: In The News
Mental health funding among issues in Washtenaw county board races – MLive, July 10, 2018
League of Women Voters Candidate Forum (video) – Community Television Network, July 9, 2018
Washtenaw County looks to divest from gun and ammo makers – MLive, Feb. 27, 2018
Realtor says Gelman dioxane plume hurting property values – MLive, Aug. 31, 2017
Michigan policymakers strategizing ways to handle senior population boom – MLive, Aug. 16, 2017
Do Ann Arbor and Detroit need stronger ties? – Model D, July 6, 2017
Commissioner vows to stand in front of bulldozers to stop gas pipeline – MLive, June 29, 2017
Washtenaw sends strong message to immigrants with $145K aid fund – MLive, May 18, 2017
First county issued ID card in Midwest proving popular with immigrants – MLive, April 27, 2017
'Community crisis' has Washtenaw County officials talking tax increase – MLive, April 21, 2017
Conan Smith Regains Washtenaw County Commission Seat – WEMU, Nov. 9, 2016
County Commissioner returns to re-election campaign after resignation – Michigan Daily, Oct. 31, 2016
Conan Smith drops out of running for county job amid messy controversy – MLive, Oct. 13, 2016
Who will represent Ann Arbor's west side on the county board in 2017? – MLive, Oct. 11, 2016
League of Women Voters candidate forum (video) – Community Television Network, Oct. 10, 2016
Drowning in a shallow candidate pool – The Ann, Oct. 10, 2016
Uncertainty follows the resignation of county commissioner – Michigan Daily, Aug. 19, 2016
No Contest – Ann Arbor Observer, August 2016
Snowflake Wanted: After a first search founders, the county is once again looking for an administrator – Ann Arbor Observer, July 2016
Proposed legislation would cap public transit millage – Detroit Free Press, March 27, 2016
Smith Says Commissioners Are Divided On Hiring A New County Administrator – WEMU, March 17, 2016
Harsh words exchanged as Washtenaw County Board approves CVB merger – MLive, Oct. 8, 2015
Conan Smith not running for Ann Arbor mayor, will seek re-election to county board – MLive, March 23, 2014
Conan Smith: Why Ann Arbor doesn't see itself as part of Metro Detroit - and why it should – AnnArbor.com, May 30, 2012
Guest blogger – Concentrate, March 2007