Nevada Contractor Balances Plumbing and Politics

Ira Hansen has been a business owner for nearly 30 years and a state assemblyman since 2010.
Nevada Contractor Balances Plumbing and Politics
Ira Hansen & Sons Plumbing owners Ira and Alexis Hansen at the company shop in Sparks, Nevada.

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Ira Hansen’s service goes well beyond his regular plumbing customers. In addition to owning and operating his company, Ira Hansen & Sons Plumbing in Sparks, Nevada, Hansen is a Nevada state assemblyman serving his third two-year term.

“Most companies avoid politics like the plague,” Hansen says. “Being in office is highly controversial, but I believe it is my civic duty. You just stand there and slug it out.”

Hansen has additionally been a talk show host for local stations, and wrote a newspaper column for 17 years for the Sparks Tribune and Elko Daily Free Press.

He and his wife, Alexis, have eight children and 11 grandchildren, with a couple more on the way. Four of their sons and one daughter have worked in the business, but all have chosen different career avenues.

They like the flexibility owning their own business has afforded them. They can take some time off to be with the family, but in actuality their responsibilities with the company are a 24/7 obligation to which they are dedicated.

Hansen is also dedicated to his political career and serving his constituency, even though it doesn’t always help his business.

“To be honest with you, I think being in politics has hurt my business,” Hansen says. “Every time I vote I alienate some people. Many folks don’t think like I do, and they would rather not call my plumbing company.”

Regardless, he plans to run again in 2016.

One of the biggest accomplishments of his political career was the passing of AB 125 earlier this year. The bill hit close to home and had a significant impact on Nevada’s construction industry as a whole because it repealed the Construction Defect Bill, which guaranteed legal fees for lawyers in class-action lawsuits on construction defects.

Hansen had previously done a lot of work on new tract housing, and he knew the bill’s impact.

“This law allowed trial lawyers to make millions of dollars. And caused liability insurance for contractors in Nevada to go through the roof. This drove a lot of innocent third-party contractors into class-action lawsuits in housing tracts.”

The repeal means a safer environment for contractors, including Hansen, who believes new construction will be a big part of his company’s future.

For more on Ira Hansen & Sons Plumbing, check out the full profile here



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