By Mike Kruzman & Jon King /

The former head of Livingston County Veterans’ Services has formally announced his candidacy for the State’s 47th House district.

While he officially filed in mid-April, Democrat Adam Smiddy issued a press release on Monday concerning his candidacy for the seat currently held by Republican Hank Vaupel, who is term-limited. Smiddy, who grew up in Brighton and lives in Howell, was the head of the county Veterans’ Service Department from July of 2017 until he was fired in August of 2018 after he uncovered discrepancies in how donated items and cash were handled by the former board chairman. He later filed a wrongful termination suit against the county, which was settled out of court.

A former Green Beret, Smiddy says he led Special Forces teams while serving over 27 months in Iraq and Afghanistan, during which he says he learned “what real leadership is, what the freedom we fight for costs, and what it means to be an American.” Smiddy also promised to fight for fairer taxes, noting that Michigan residents, “paid 10 times more in taxes than corporations did last year, while receiving only marginal benefits.” He also wants better internet infrastructure, particularly in rural areas, to better eliminate the discrepancies in education children face when needing to learn online. Smiddy also stresses the importance of health care being available to Michiganders.

Smiddy is the lone Democrat who filed for the 47th seat. He will face the winner of the August 4th Republican primary. Running for the GOP spot is the Chair of the Livingston County Republican Party, Meghan Reckling; County Commissioner and former sheriff Bob Bezotte; Assistant to the Brighton Township Manager, Zachary Dyba; and Marion Township resident Yvonne Black. You can find a copy of Smiddy’s announcement below.