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Official to be replaced by fellow Democrat

| Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2006

Indiana County's president judge will begin formulating a plan next week to fill the county commissioner position left open after Bernie Smith's death over the weekend.

Judge William J. Martin said Tuesday he will wait until after Smith's funeral on Thursday to begin the process.

Smith, 67, died Sunday morning at his daughter's home in Potomac, Md.

A county commissioner since 1995, Smith was in the third year of his third term in office when he died.

Martin said he will consult with commissioners Rodney Ruddock and Dave Frick as well as county Democratic Committee leaders. Smith was a Democrat and he will be replaced by a member of that party.

Smith's replacement will serve the remainder of his term, which ends next year.

Viewing for Smith will be today at Bowser-Minich Funeral Home in Indiana from 1 to 4 and 6 to 9 p.m. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday at Church of the Good Shepherd, Kent, followed by burial in St. Bernard Cemetery.

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