In a phone conversation with The Chronicle on Monday afternoon, Ward 1 Ann Arbor city councilmember Sandi Smith has indicated she will not be seeking reelection to a third term on the council. As competing demands on her time, she cited the growth of her company Trillium Real Estate and the recent surge in the real estate market. She has also agreed to a leadership position for the Jim Toy Center, Washtenaw County’s LGBT Resource Center.
Smith also serves on the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority. Her current term expires in July 2012. She said she plans to seek reappointment to that position.
First elected to the council in 2008, Smith – a Democrat – is now serving her second two-year term. She defeated incumbent Democrat Ron Suarez and write-in candidate Patricia Lesko in the 2008 primary election, receiving 66.6% of votes. Although Suarez’s name appeared on the ballot, he encouraged his supporters to vote for Lesko, who received 22% of the vote. He decided not to actively seek reelection after the deadline for removing his name from the ballot. Smith was then unopposed in the 2008 general election. Other first-time councilmembers elected in 2008 included Tony Derezinski (Ward 2), Christopher Taylor (Ward 3) and Carsten Hohnke (Ward 5).
Carsten Hohnke announced on April 21 that he will also not seek reelection.
Smith sought reelection in 2010 and competed against challenger Sumi Kailasapathy in the Democratic primary. Smith won that election receiving 54.5% of votes compared to Kailasapathy’s 45.2%. Smith was unopposed in the 2010 general election.
Each ward in the city is represented by two councilmembers. Ward 1 is also represented by Sabra Briere, who will be up for reelection in 2013.
For the Aug. 7 primary, the filing deadline for city council candidates with party affiliations is May 15 at 4 p.m. For independent candidates in the Nov. 6 general election, the filing deadline is July 19 at 4 p.m. More information about the filing process is available on the city clerk’s elections website.
Added around 4:30 p.m. on April 23 after initial publication: Ann Arbor city clerk’s office staff confirmed that Sumi Kailasapathy took out petitions to run for Smith’s Ward 1 seat shortly after noon today.