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Swarthout, Harris to run again

Trina Kleist and Pat Butler
Staff Writers

Grass Valley Vice Mayor Lisa Swarthout will run for re-election to a second term on the City Council ” creating a potential field of four candidates for three open council seats in the November election.

Another Grass Valley candidate, Yolanda Cookson, also turned in enough signatures to move toward the ballot, City Clerk Kristi Bashor said.

Meanwhile, former Nevada City Mayor Sally Harris announced Tuesday she will run in the Nov. 3 special election for a lone Nevada City council seat.



Candidates in both towns must turn in at least 20 valid signatures of city residents by Aug. 8 to qualify for the ballot, officials said.

Cookson, 30, turned in the signatures of 30 supporters on Tuesday. Bashor turned the signatures over to the Nevada County Elections Office for validation; results should be back in a few days, Bashor said.




Cookson works for Placer Title Co. in Glenbrook Basin.

Swarthout, a Nevada Union High School alumna and the daughter of downtown merchants, has operated her own clothing store for 15 years. She became known as a champion of growth in the city during four years on the council and eight on the city planning commission.

But other issues prompted her to consider running, especially the search for a new location for the senior center located at the Nevada County Fairgrounds and implementing the city’s new redevelopment plan, she said.

“Residents asked me if I would consider running because they thought I was doing a good job,” Swarthout said. “To have complete strangers take time and effort to encourage me was very uplifting.”

Others who have said they will run for Grass Valley City Council are:

– Incumbent Jan Arbuckle, 57, a retired Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy appointed to the post in early 2007 to finish out the term of Councilman Dean Williams.

– Rachel Rue, 65, a movie theater employee.

Mayor Mark Johnson has said he will not run for re-election after serving two terms.

Nevada City’s Harris finished her first four-year term in July. She was out of office for a few minutes, however, before she was sworn as an interim city councilwoman serving until the November election.

The special election is being held to fill what remains of Sheila Stein’s term. Stein resigned in March to move to England. Her term expires in June 2010.

As of Tuesday, no other candidates had turned in papers.

Harris said her personal circumstances had changed since she decided in March not to seek re-election. Stein’s decision to resign from the council also played a role.

“I (had) decided not to seek re-election due to family matters needing attention,” she said in a prepared statement “The family matters are well on their way to resolution, and with only two other tenured council members remaining, I believe my experience gained these last four years would be of benefit to our town.”

In June, Reinette Senum and Robert Bergman were elected for the first time to the City Council, and David McKay was re-elected.

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To contact City Editor Trina Kleist, e-mail tkleist@theunion.com or call 477-4230. To contact Staff Writer Pat Butler, e-mail pbutler@theunion.com or call 477-4239.


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