Thrift store owner joins District 3 race |

Thrift store owner joins District 3 race

Grass Valley thrift store owner Randy Hansen says he believes he would be a good candidate for the District 3 seat on the Nevada County Board of Supervisors because he is “fiscally conservative and a liberal listener.”

Hansen announced Tuesday his intention to campaign in the Nov. 2 election for the District 3 seat, vacated earlier this year with the resignation of Supervisor Drew Bedwell.

Hansen runs the nonprofit Grass Valley Blues thrift shop on Main Street and is active in advocating for the rights of the mentally ill and victims of substance abuse.

He moved to Grass Valley in 1995 from Hollywood, where he lived for 25 years working in the copy supply industry, and, also, for a short time, in the export and import business. The Washington state native says he considers his politics to be middle-of-the-road and that he decided to campaign “because I had a lot of concerns about how the county is running.”

He says he was also troubled by how political the nonpartisan position has become.

“I don’t really believe in voting in a party. I think you should vote on an individual and what they say and do,” he said.

Hansen cites his main concerns as population growth and traffic in Grass Valley. He says he wants to dedicate more effort to keeping downtown Grass Valley a vibrant place because there is “an aura that is here that I would not like to see go.”

He attributes much of the problem with growth to traffic. “The more and more we get gridlock, the harder it is to get downtown,” he said.

Hansen said another concern is providing safe and fun places for teenagers to go, something he said is currently lacking in Grass Valley.

Hansen is active in several nonprofits and groups that advocate for the mentally ill and substance abuse victims. He is a member of the Nevada County Substance Abuse Advisory Board, the Nevada County Mental Health Board, and is president of Minds in Recovery. He hosts two shows on the public-access station NCTV, including one titled “Is This As Good As It Gets?”

Hansen will be seeking signatures for his campaign at the Friday Night Markets in Grass Valley, where he has a booth for his shop.

Other political figures who have expressed an interest in the District 3 position are former Supervisor Bruce Conklin, Grass Valley City Councilwoman Linda Stevens and Nevada County Planning Commissioner John Spencer.

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