Former political aide J. J. Hanson dies


(photo: “Can’t Hurt Steel” Fund)

NEW YORK – James J. (J.J.) Hanson, a former aide to Ulster County
Executive Michael Hein and a Hudson Valley regional representative to
former Governors Elliott Spitzer and David Paterson died Saturday.
The 36-year-old former Marine was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2014
and began treatments vowing to fight the disease and used the motto “Can’t
Hurt Steel.”
“He was brave in war and brave throughout this illness,”
State Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther told Mid-Hudson News. She knew him
since he was a teenager. “This is a big loss for the community.
Everybody loved him.”

After he left state government, he worked as Ulster County budget director
under County Executive Michael Hein. He said Hanson was “a young
man with incredible bravery who lived an extraordinary life in a short
period of time.”

Hanson lived in Sullivan County before he moved to Ulster for that county’s


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