WASHINGTON, D.C. (Aug. 19, 2013) — Gary Howell, a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates and owner of Howell Automotive, has been named vice chairman of the State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus, a a bi-partisan group of state lawmakers supported by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA).
The caucus, which boasts nearly 600 state legislators from 50 states, serves to raise the motor vehicle hobby's profile in state legislatures and in the eyes of the public, according to SEMA.
Many of these lawmakers have sought to preserve and expand the hobby by improving existing motor vehicle statutes and regulations.
Mr. Howell, a member of SEMA, has operated Howell Automotive in Keyser, W.Va., since 1990. He joined the causus in 2011 after his election to the West Virginia House, SEMA said.
Mr. Howell has worked extensively in motorsports, raced stock cars and drag cars, built winning race cars and award-winning show cars and designed racing parts, SEMA said.
He also has hosted a syndicated radio show, written automotive magazine articles and served as a technical expert on automotive TV shows.
"I have been a strong advocate of SEMA model legislation that helps car enthusiasts enjoy their hobby in a safe and responsible manner," Mr. Howell said.
"I have worked to remove the tax burden on low income car collectors, sponsored a bill to implement an objective exhaust noise testing program and crusaded against increased ethanol blends in gasoline. I'm currently working on a car collector tag that can be transferred between vehicles like a dealer plate. The plate could be used by collectors on recently purchased vehicles or those in the process of restoration."
Mr. Howell, R-Mineral, sits on the House of Delegate's roads and transportation committee in order to further help protect the rights of motor vehicle enthusiasts.
"When I read legislation, I try to examine it through the eyes of people like Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay and Smokey Yunick," Mr. Howell added.
"(Legendary racing mechanic) Smokey Yunick would have made a great legislator. His 'You read the rules for what they don't say, not for what they do,' philosophy is one I've adopted. Many of the problems we experience are derived from the unintended consequences. Heeding Smokey's words helps me identify those consequences