Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners District 9

Conan Smith

Campaign website

Twitter:  @conansmith



Link to campaign finance info

Conan Smith

Katie Scott defeated incumbent Conan Smith on Aug. 7, winning 65.61% of votes cast. She faces Republican Stuart Berry on the ballot in the Nov. 6 general election. Click here for full election results.

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.

Click here for a description of Washtenaw County public offices and links to other candidate profiles.

Conan Smith:  In The News

'Dark money' attacks on Ann Arbor candidates raise concernsMLive, Aug. 5, 2018

Soapbox Summer 2018WEMU, July 16, 2018

Mental health funding among issues in Washtenaw county board racesMLive, 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

Issues Of The Environment: Sustainability Development From Washtenaw County's PerspectiveWEMU, Oct. 4, 2017

Realtor says Gelman dioxane plume hurting property valuesMLive, Aug. 31, 2017

Michigan policymakers strategizing ways to handle senior population boomMLive, 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 pipelineMLive, June 29, 2017

Washtenaw sends strong message to immigrants with $145K aid fundMLive, May 18, 2017

First county issued ID card in Midwest proving popular with immigrantsMLive, April 27, 2017

'Community crisis' has Washtenaw County officials talking tax increaseMLive, April 21, 2017

Conan Smith Regains Washtenaw County Commission Seat WEMU, Nov. 9, 2016

County Commissioner returns to re-election campaign after resignationMichigan Daily, Oct. 31, 2016

Conan Smith drops out of running for county job amid messy controversyMLive, 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 commissionerMichigan 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 millageDetroit Free Press, March 27, 2016

Smith Says Commissioners Are Divided On Hiring A New County AdministratorWEMU, March 17, 2016

Harsh words exchanged as Washtenaw County Board approves CVB mergerMLive, Oct. 8, 2015

Conan Smith not running for Ann Arbor mayor, will seek re-election to county boardMLive, March 23, 2014

Conan Smith: Why Ann Arbor doesn't see itself as part of Metro Detroit - and why it, May 30, 2012

Guest blogger – Concentrate, March 2007