Ward 9 alderman Matt Smith ’98 stepped down from his seat on Friday to start work as Mayor John DeStefano Jr.’s legislative aide and policy analyst, the New Haven Independent reported Saturday evening.

Smith, who lost his seat to challenger Jessica Holmes in last month’s aldermanic election, replaces Elizabeth Benton ’04. Benton took a job as DeStefano’s spokeswoman early last week.

“I’m excited to continue to have the opportunity to serve the city I love, in a different capacity,” Smith told the Independent.

As DeStefano’s legislative aide, Smith will be the mayor’s liaison with the Board of Aldermen and will direct the administration’s policy initiatives. He said he expects the mayor to appoint Holmes to serve out the remainder of his term, which would have expired in January.