AUGUSTA — After taking a 22-year break from the Legislature, Lewiston Democrat Jim Handy ran successfully for the 58th District seat in 2016. He aims to keep it for awhile longer.

Handy said he’s seeking re-election to continue the policy he summed up as “People first, Lewiston first.”

Among his accomplishments in his first year back in the House, Handy pushed through a bill to require insurance coverage for hearing aids — though the proposal is still awaiting funding — and a measure to create the Maine Bicentennial Commission to plan for the state’s 200th anniversary celebration.

Handy, who will serve as the commission’s House chairman, said he plans to work this year to restore funding to school-based health centers, something he has said would help Lewiston and Auburn.

In a news release, Handy said he will also “continue working for passage of legislation that will bring quality generic prescription medicines to market quicker and lower the cost of drugs for Mainers.”

So far, Handy has no declared opponent. Two of the other representatives from Lewiston — Democrats Heidi Brooks and Roger Fuller — have not formally indicated their intentions about running again.

Rep. Jared Golden, however, has said he is going to give up his seat to try to knock U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, a Republican from Maine’s 2nd District, out of office. Golden is the House Democratic whip.

A Clean Elections candidate, Handy said his success is due in part to “reaching out to Republicans and independents.”

“Making good, sound policy does not happen without including others to reach consensus,” he said. “The people of Lewiston want their legislators to work together to get things done to make Lewiston and our state a better place to live and work. I’m committed to doing that.”

He first served Lewiston in the Maine House from 1983 to 1992 and then put in a term in the Senate.

Handy also logged 18 consecutive years on the Lewiston School Committee, from 1997 to 2015. He is on the board of directors at Literacy Volunteers-Androscoggin and has served on the board of directors at Healthy Androscoggin, L/A Arts and Androscoggin Head Start.

Born and raised in Lewiston, Handy worked several jobs while earning a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Southern Maine.

Employed by L.L. Bean, Handy and his wife, Sharon, have three grown children, all of whom graduated from Lewiston High School.

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Jim Handy (Sun Journal file photo)


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