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Jim Hansen (Idaho politician)

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Jim D. Hansen
Commissioner of the Ada County Highway District
Assumed office
Member of the Idaho House of Representatives
from the 13B district
In office
December 1, 1992 – December 1, 1994
Preceded byBill Taylor
Succeeded byDave Baumann
Member of the Idaho House of Representatives
from the 20B district
In office
December 1, 1988 – December 1, 1992
Preceded byJack Kennevick
Succeeded byRobbi King
Personal details
James Duncan Hansen

(1959-11-05) November 5, 1959 (age 64)
Idaho Falls, Idaho, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseJoan Cartan-Hansen
RelationsOrval H. Hansen (father)
Residence(s)Boise, Idaho, U.S.
EducationCollege of William & Mary (BA)
University of Idaho (JD)

James Duncan Hansen (born November 5, 1959) is an American attorney and politician serving as a commissioner of the Ada County Highway District. He was the 2006 Democratic nominee for Congress in Idaho's 2nd district, but was defeated by four-term incumbent Mike Simpson.[1]

Hansen was previously a member of the Idaho House of Representatives from 1988 to 1994.[2]

Early life and education


Hansen was born in Idaho Falls and moved with his family to Arlington, Virginia in 1969. His father, Orval H. Hansen, was elected to Congress in 1968 as a Republican from Idaho's 2nd district and served three terms.

Hansen earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of William and Mary in 1982 and a Juris Doctor from the University of Idaho College of Law in 1985.[3]



While in school, Hansen worked as a ranger and naturalist in Yellowstone National Park.

Hansen began his legal career as an intern for state Attorney General Jim Jones in 1984. He was a law clerk for Chief Justice Charles R. Donaldson of the Idaho Supreme Court from 1985 to 1986. He practiced law with Givens Pursley from 1985 to 1991, focusing primarily on water and natural resource issues.

Hansen was elected to the Idaho House of Representatives in 1988, representing southeast Boise, and was re-elected in 1990 and 1992. Hansen imposed his own term limits and voluntarily retired in 1994.[4]

In 1995 Hansen founded United Vision for Idaho, a coalition of organizations to empower participation in democracy and served as its first executive director. He took a sabbatical from that position during his run for the seat once held by his father but returned to the coalition after the election in 2006. Hansen resigned from United Vision for Idaho in April 2008 upon being named executive director of the Idaho Democratic Party.[5][6]

In 2012, Hansen was elected as a commissioner of the Ada County Highway District for east and south Boise and eastern Ada County.[2]

Personal life


Hansen has been married to Joan Cartan-Hansen since 1990. They have two children. Hansen has one brother and five sisters; his mother, June, is a well-known actress in the Washington, D.C. area, who was awarded the Helen Hayes Award and been nominated several times.[7]


  1. ^ November 7, 2006 General Election Results Statewide Totals Archived September 22, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Accessed 10 July 2007
  2. ^ a b Ada County Highway District Archived 2016-09-13 at the Wayback Machine (accessed 23 December 2013)
  3. ^ US Representative, 2nd Congressional District Archived 2009-09-30 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 10 July 2007
  4. ^ Idaho Blue Book Legislative Roster, p. 19 Accessed 10 July 2007
  5. ^ "Jim Hansen to become Executive Cat Herding Poobah at the Idaho Democratic Party | 43rd State Blues: Democracy for Idaho". 43rdstateblues.com. Retrieved 2017-06-05.
  6. ^ Newbold, Taylor. "Under-dogged: A Look at Idaho Dems". Boise Weekly. Retrieved 2017-06-05.
  7. ^ 2000 Helen Hayes Awards and Nominations Archived 2007-08-08 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 10 July 2007
Party political offices
Preceded by Democratic Party nominee, Idaho's 2nd congressional district
2006 (lost)
Succeeded by