Sam Handy, a long-time resident of South Burlington, announced his candidacy for Vermont State Representative in Chittenden 7-2 on May 26.
Handy, a local business owner, who was born in Vermont and raised in South Burlington, hopes to breathe some fresh air into Montpelier, while representing the community he believes has given him countless opportunities over the years. When speaking about his first run for political office, Handy said, “I feel the need to give back to a community that has given me so much. I have a lot of ideas, but in addition to those, I am eager to hear from residents about what they think needs to be prioritized in Montpelier.”
Handy, a Republican, said he is dedicated to maintaining a strong public school system, while reducing the excessive tax and regulatory burdens facing families and small businesses in Vermont. If elected, Handy’s main focus will be to ensure that property taxes are addressed. “Property taxes are too high,” Handy said. “This is an issue that I’ve heard consistently when talking to people in the community.” Handy believes it is time for the legislature to look for alternative funding for current, as well as new, initiatives.
Handy, who currently lives less than five miles from his childhood home, with his wife Cassie, a special educator in Burlington, and their one-year old daughter Rowan, has established himself in a town where the “Handy” name is a well-known commodity. Handy returned to Vermont after attending college and faced the common challenge of finding employment in a state where job opportunities can be few and far between.
“I’m dedicated to working on keeping the next generation of Vermonters in state,” Handy said. “South Burlington has one of the best school systems in Vermont. Our children are talented. They excel in academics, athletics and extracurricular activities, and we need to make it a priority to ensure that jobs are here for them when they finish school.”
If elected, Handy plans to put pressure on Montpelier to do away with the “tax and spend” approach. “The legislature tends to take the path well-travelled when taxing residents and businesses. I’d like to have the opportunity to look for alternative solutions that will create new revenue for the state, without putting an extra financial burden on residents,” said Handy.
Handy, a former South Burlington athlete has spent the last two winters coaching JV Boys Basketball at the high school. He also serves as Vice Chair on the Advisory Committee on Accessibility in Burlington and collaborates with local charities. “I like to work,” said Handy. “I’m a hard worker and I’d really like the chance to work for this community. I hope I get that chance.”