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State Republicans back Spencer for supervisor slot

Britt Retherford

Nevada County Planning Commissioner John Spencer received the official rallying cry of support for the interim Nevada County District 3 Supervisor’s appointment from five Republican senators and assemblymen with a letter of recommendation sent to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Tuesday.

“We believe Mr. Spencer would be an exceptional replacement,” read a letter signed by District 3 Assemblyman Rick Keene, District 4 Senator Sam Aanestad, District 4 Assemblyman Tim Leslie, District 1 Senator Rico Oller and District 5 Assemblyman Dave Cox.

The position is currently vacant due to former Supervisor Drew Bedwell’s resignation last month to undergo treatment for Hodgkin’s disease, a cancer that effects the lymphatic system. The governor is not required to choose an interim replacement and regardless of any appointment, residents will vote for their choice during the general election in November.

District 1 Supervisor Peter Van Zant does not think the county needs the governor to make an appointment at all. If he does, “I would prefer that he would appoint someone with supervisor’s experience,” Van Zant said.

Spencer currently is serving on the Nevada County Planning Commission. He has also worked for the county’s Department of Transportation and owns his own surveying and engineering business.

During Spencer’s time on the planning commission, he has supported the development plans of Wolf Creek Ranch Estates and also streamlining the application process for getting building permits by keeping fees down.

“(Spencer) is very current on issues that are presently before the board of supervisors having served as Bedwell’s planning commissioner,” said Assemblyman Keene’s Chief of Staff Cliff Wagner.

Nevada County Democratic Central Committee Chairwoman Mary Longmore said she was not surprised about the letter of recommendation for Spencer in the nonpartisan race. “It is becoming politics as usual in Nevada County and it is getting a little rough out there.”

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