Troy McClain has avoided politics since capturing the hearts of 28 million Americans as the runner-up on Donald Trump’s first season of “The Apprentice” in 2004.
The Boise entrepreneur had a simple request for politicians “don’t mess with my huntin,’ don’t mess with my fishin,” the self-described "country boy with big city instincts" said.
But now the founder and President of the McClain Companies has jumped in to help Idaho Gov. Butch Otter. McClain, a public speaker, consultant and sometimes television host, decided to bring his wide media skills and experience to Otter’s campaign.
“I said, ‘Butch, you’re the right person, we need to get the right message behind you,’” McClain said.
The Otter campaign hired McClain as communications director of the Otter campaign along with former KTVB reporter Ryan Panitz, who works for the McClain Companies.
"I love their business sense and their energy," said Debbie Field, Otter's campaign manager. "They add more creativity to our team."
McClain met Otter while working on a project for Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Later he worked with First Lady Lori Otter on a concert for the Idaho National Guard 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team National Guard, who recommended him to the campaign.
McClain attended an advance reception for the Governor’s China trade mission and found he and Otter had a lot in common. Most of all they shared common values, like “the best way to get ahead to give back,” he said.
He told Otter then he admired President Barack Obama, not for his political positions but for his ability to get his message out so effectively.
“You do have to admire a campaign that can deliver,” McClain said.
He thinks Otter can have the same success, as people get to know how he feels about the future of technology and education.
McClain has hosted television programs from the Miss World pageant to the nationally syndicated show, “The Home Team” and specials on HGTV. His motivational speaking gigs have included events for Microsoft and Warren Buffett.