Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith (D-Salem Township) served as Michigan State Senator from 1994-2002 and as Michigan State Representative from 2004-2010 for the 54th District, which includes Ypsilanti and Salem, Augusta, Superior and Ypsilanti Townships.
She was a candidate for the Governor of Michigan in 2010, but dropped out of the race in May. 
Campaign site: http://almaformichigan.com
In the news
- Outside job: Alma Wheeler Smith taking new approach to reforming Michigan government, Ryan Stanton for AnnArbor.com, January 15, 2011.
Smith: Having been frustrated through six years in the Michigan House about the Legislature's inability to take some pretty concrete action to eliminate our structural deficit, there are a number of think tanks that have talked about what needs to happen for Michigan — how that should be structured — and nothing happened. Not at the legislative level and not at the grassroots level. So my hope is to set up a 'do tank' that gets some things done, and work with the grassroots to make sure we have good support for a couple of initiatives that will help us fill the deep hole that threatens the state's ability to provide programs and services.
She and twin sister Lucille were born in Columbia, South Carolina, on August 6, 1941, four years before the bombing of Hiroshima. Their parents had fought prejudice to earn advanced degrees, a highly unusual feat at the time. Emma Wheeler had finished her master’s in public health and was raising the girls with their older sister, Mary. Their father, Al, had gone north to complete his doctorate at the University of Michigan. But there was no decent housing for African-Americans in Ann Arbor; banks wouldn’t loan and landlords wouldn’t rent.
- Ypsilanti-area Democrat Alma Wheeler Smith announces run for Michigan governor, Ann Arbor News, June 2009
State Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith, the long-time Ypsilanti-area Democrat, has announced that she is running for governor, according to a news release sent to The Ann Arbor News.
- Alma Wheeler Smith stories on AnnArbor.com
- Alma Wheeler Smith stories on Ann Arbor Chronicle
- Alma Wheeler Smith stories in Heritage Media newspapers
- Alma Wheeler Smith stories in the Google News archives