By Jon King /

The Livingston County Board of Commissioners has selected a replacement for former District 1 Commissioner Kate Lawrence, who resigned her seat earlier this month.

After two deadlock rounds of voting, the board on Wedensday morning voted 6-2 to appoint Marty Smith to the vacancy. Smith is the Senior Lender at First National Bank in Howell and was nominated by Commissioner Carol Griffith. The only other nominee to win any votes was Dan Schifko, a Trustee on the Brighton Township Board and Treasurer of the Livingston County Republican Party.

The first two rounds had Schifko and Smith tying with four votes apiece, with Commissioners Wes Nakagiri, Doug Helzerman, Jay Drick and Mitchell Zajac voting for Mr. Schifko and Commissioners Griffith, Jay Gross, Brenda Plank and Carol Sue Reader voting for Smith. After a brief discussion on the relative merits of each candidate, Commissioner Helzerman said he was impressed with Shifko and Smith, but said it was important that they not end up in a deadlock that would require a special election; he would be changing his vote to Smith.

On the third vote, only Commissioners Nakagiri and Drick voted for Schifko, allowing Smith to win the appointment by a 6-2 margin. Smith was then sworn in at the conclusion of the board meeting. He will serve the remainder of Lawrence’s term through 2022. He may elect to run for the seat in November of next year for a full two-term to begin on January 1st of 2023, but when asked if he would do so, said he wasn’t sure and put the odds at 50-50.