Two owners of two different trucking companies are running for a seat in the Idaho House of Representatives this year. 

The two men, 67-year-old Clay Handy and 47-year-old Ryan Cook are running for seat B in District 27 of the Idaho House of Representatives with the goals of representing constituents and finding common ground. 

Handy owns Handy Truck Line, a company that was started by his great-grandfather and says that his negotiation skills make him highly qualified for the job, but his disagreement with the government’s treatment of small businesses during the pandemic is what inspired him to run. 

“I was shocked at the government shut down of businesses on the basis of what might happen,” he said to Magic Valley News. “It really bothered me that small businesses were shut down and big businesses were still open,” he said, adding that his experience as former Cassia County Commissioner will lend itself to the position.

“I think my experience is worth something,” Handy said. “I am committed to the community and I’m a supporter of it…. And I know how to negotiate,” he said. “Some people think you can’t negotiate politics but I think you have to find agreement.”

Handy says his negotiation experience comes from his serving on numerous boards in the area, including the Cassia Regional Hospital board for 13 years, eight of those as chairman, his current position as chairperson of the Burley Development Association, and his experience on the Burley Transportation Advisory Board and the Idaho Trucking Association along with other regional and state transportation advisory boards.

“I am a good consensus builder,” Handy said. “I’ve spent a lot of time on boards coming to agreement.”

Handy says he is the most concerned about the expanding reach of government, including in our nation’s schools, and says that freedom must be protected and the constitution supported. 

He has served on numerous boards including the Cassia Regional Hospital board for 13 years and was chairman of that board for eight years. He also served on the hospital foundation board.

Handy is the chairperson of the Burley Development Association and has served on the board for more than 30 years.

He has also served on the Burley Transportation Advisory Board and the Idaho Trucking Association along with other regional and state transportation advisory boards.

Cook has owned his own trucking and excavation business for the last 19 years, and is running because he believes that the district’s current representatives are not knowledgeable enough in the areas of agriculture and transportation.

“We have one of the bigger agriculture districts,” he said. “I grew up in agriculture. It is my background.”

“When I watched them [transportation subcommittee meetings] I got a little upset,” he said. “Some of the members did not seem to have a background in or knowledge about transportation issues. They are the ones making the rules for me.”

“I’ve been watching to see how they are voting and I think we need to put a little common sense back into the Legislature,” he continued to KPVI News.

Cook says that he wants to see some of his community’s tax dollars “come back home,” and wants to see improvement in local roads and more support for rural communities. 

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