Alma Wheeler Smith

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Alma Wheeler Smith
Member of the Michigan House of Representatives
from the 54th district
In office
January 1, 2005 – December 31, 2010
Preceded by Ruth Ann Jamnick
Succeeded by David E. Rutledge
Member of the Michigan Senate
from the 18th district
In office
January 1, 1995 – December 31, 2002
Preceded by Lana Pollack
Succeeded by Elizabeth Brater
Personal details
Born (1941-08-06) August 6, 1941 (age 75)
Columbia, South Carolina
Political party Democratic
Residence Ypsilanti, Michigan
Alma mater University of Michigan (Journalism)

Alma Wheeler Smith (born August 6, 1941) is a politician from the U.S. state of Michigan. She was most recently a member of the Michigan House of Representatives, representing the 54th District, which includes the city of Ypsilanti, Augusta Township, Salem Township, Superior Township, and Ypsilanti Township in Washtenaw County, from 2005 to 2010. A Democrat, she sat on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, served two terms in the Michigan Senate from 1995 to 2002, and sought her party's nomination for Governor of Michigan in 2010.[1]

Early career[edit]

Early in her career, Alma worked as a cable commissioner, school board trustee, school board president, and county commissioner.[2] She served as a State Senator representing Ann Arbor in the 18th District for eight years before term limits ended her tenure in that body.[3]

State Representative[edit]

In the Michigan House of Representatives, Smith has introduced bills on a wide range of topics.[clarification needed]

She served in the Michigan House from January 1, 2005 until December 31, 2010, having been unable to retain her House seat in 2010 due to term limits.

Gubernatorial candidate[edit]

Representative Smith has announced her candidacy for governor in 2010. According to her campaign site, "As governor, Alma's policies and budgets will support full access to health care for each resident, equal education access and opportunity from preschool to grad school, a safe and clean environment, vital urban centers, a healthy business sector, protection for civil rights and civil liberties and full inclusion for each citizen in Michigan's benefits and opportunities."[2]

On May 10, one day before the filing deadline for the primary, Smith announced that although she was “well on the path” to collecting enough signatures (15,000) to qualify, she had decided not to submit them. In a statement, she said that she shared a “concern of splitting the progressive vote and ending up with a candidate that does not represent core Democratic values.” “Democrats need to unify behind a candidate and I have come to believe that my continued candidacy would only serve to divide us further,” Smith said.[4]


Smith is a member of a prominent Ann Arbor political family. Her father, Albert H. Wheeler, was mayor of Ann Arbor from 1975 to 1978, and the first African American to hold that position. Her sister, Nancy Francis, has served as a Washtenaw County probate judge since 1990. Her son, Conan, served as a Washtenaw County commissioner, and was elected Chairperson of the Ann Arbor City Democratic Party in December 2008. Conan's wife, Rebekah Warren, currently represents the 18th District in the Michigan Senate, a seat Smith previously held.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Committees". Retrieved 23 September 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "About Alma". Retrieved 23 September 2016. 
  3. ^ Kestenbaum, Lawrence. "The Political Graveyard: Index to Politicians: Wheelihan to Whipper". Retrieved 23 September 2016. 
  4. ^ Bell, Dawson (2010-05-10). "Rep. Wheeler Smith abandons bid for governor". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2010-05-10. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Lana Pollack
Michigan Senate, 18th District
Succeeded by
Liz Brater (D)
Preceded by
Ruth Ann Jamnick (D)
Michigan House of Representatives, 54th District
Succeeded by
David E. Rutledge (D)