District 3 political war begins anew | TheUnion.com

District 3 political war begins anew

The Union editorial board

“Everything is political,” according to the adage, and that’s never more true than in Nevada County, whether the subject is public service, stop signs or sewers.

So it was no surprise that the impending resignation of Supervisor Drew Bedwell for health reasons is already triggering a war of words. The governor may name an interim supervisor until the November election or decide (with the election so close) to leave the seat open and up for grabs.

County Republicans assume that, with a GOP governor, their recommendation for a replacement will be heeded. Democrats, however, cry foul, pointing out that county and city offices are ostensibly nonpartisan and party affiliation should not be a factor in an appointment.

In truth, local offices are about as partisan as they come. Everyone knows who the Republicans are supporting and who the Democrats are funding. The candidates use their “walking lists” from the county elections office to see whether a resident is a registered party member or an independent, and plan their campaigning accordingly.

Bedwell’s resignation is already reviving the vicious, angry period of political warfare that began over the Natural Heritage 2020 study and continued into the campaigns for Districts 3 and 4 that put Bedwell and Robin Sutherland on the board.

Like the Florida chad fiasco and Supreme Court decision that helped put George W. Bush in the White House in 2000, the Democrats in Nevada County were talking recall from the moment Bedwell was declared a 19-vote winner over Bruce Conklin in 2002, and The Union already has received several letters saying “good riddance” and worse.

So the District 3 battle will be fought again. Grass Valley City Council member Linda Stevens, a registered Democrat, says she is interested. Conklin, now working for the Nevada County Land Trust in trying to restore the North Star House, may feel he has enough residual strength to run again. Allies of Bedwell are caucusing to see who may have the best chance to carry on their property-rights agenda.

For political junkies, the November election – already of high interest because of Bush vs. John Kerry for president and Olivia Diaz vs. Nate Beason for supervisor in District 1 – has just gotten a whole lot more lively.

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