Bedwell will see Conklin in autumn |

Bedwell will see Conklin in autumn

Drew Bedwell is headed to a November showdown with incumbent Supervisor Bruce Conklin after getting the most votes in the extremely tight District 3 supervisor’s race.

A thorn in the sides of many Nevada County long-range planning initiative supporters, Bedwell held the early lead, fell behind Conklin, but later topped him and former Grass Valley Mayor Mark Johnson with 39.9 percent of the vote.

With all 24 precincts reporting, Conklin finished second with 39.5 percent of the vote, and Johnson tallied a little more than 20 percent in the Grass Valley area district.

Bedwell, a retired activist and income property manager, outpolled his better-known opponents, targeting them as supporters of Natural Heritage 2020. Bedwell’s red Toyota pickup with large “No on NH 2020” placards became a familiar sight around Nevada County, and made headlines when someone stole and dumped it in San Francisco.

“My record is quite clear on my opposition to (NH 2020),” Bedwell said in a previous interview. “It abuses the Endangered Species Act and the habitat associated with it. (People) are using it as a tool to separate property owners from their rights.”

Conklin said just before 11 p.m. the race in fact wasn’t over. The forester and attorney who is seeking his second term as a supervisor said he was grateful to the volunteers who knocked on doors and sent fliers to constituents over the past several months.

“I am really grateful to my volunteers,” he said. “I’m just one person out of hundreds of my volunteers that wants local control. I kept an open mind about this race.”

Bedwell received just 26 more votes than Conklin, the closest race since 1994, when Fran Grattan defeated Jim Weir by 49 votes for the District 3 supervisor post, according to county records.

“I think Conklin’s in trouble, because I think there’s a knee-jerk reaction because he’s the incumbent,” Bedwell said around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. Of his chances in November, Bedwell said, “The Sierra Club, RQC (Rural Quality Coalition) will bring megabucks into our county … it’s going to be tough.”

District 3


vote totals


Bedwell 2,142


Conklin 2,116


Johnson 1,088

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