Councilor Thomas Ashe
Thomas Ashe (at-large)
First Elected: 2009
Committees: Public Health & Safety, Chair.
Education: Assumption College (B.A).
Work: YMCA Chief of Staff, Gov’t & Community Affairs
Prior Public Service: Springfield School Committee 2000-2009; Springfield License Commission 1998-1999.
Other Elections: Springfield Mayor, 2005 (l), Democratic nomination for Hampden County Clerk-of-Courts 2012 (l).
Political Distinctions: Member, Ward 7 Democratic Committee
Poll of last contested election: City Council At-large (5 seats on ballot) 2013 general
More than 19,500 blanks recorded
City Council At-large (5 seats on ballot) 2011 general
|James J. Ferrera*||9048||12.1%|
More than 28,000 blanks recorded
Biomass Repeal: Yes
Police Oversight Board: No
For Mayor’s FY2013 Budget: Yes
For Mayor’s FY2014 Budget: Yes
Limiting Residency Ordinance Waivers: Yes on third step, No on veto override.
Pawn shop regulations: Yes
Tagged stories here.
Thomas Ashe was not interviewed for the 2013 campaign.
Political Note: Thomas Ashe, despite confusion with myriad other Ashes in the area, has been a figure in Massachusetts politics for over a decade, but a less noisy one than others by comparison. Elected to the Springfield School Committee just as Superintendent Peter Negroni walked out the door, Ashe played a role in the selection Superintendents Burke and Ingram. In 2005, he ran for mayor against Charles Ryan, who was, despite the Control Board, seemingly unbeatable, a perception that turned out to be true. Ashe called his choice to run then “not an astute decision.” Ashe was able to snap up an open at-large seat on the City Council in 2009, when only four of the nine then-incumbent councilors sought the five at-large seats remaining after the introduction of ward representation. Armed with a law-enforcement background, Ashe was given the public safety committee chairmanship, something he still holds. Ashe scored the top-vote getting spot in the 2011 election beating out Tim Rooke who was favored for the spot after Jose Tosado ran for mayor instead. When current Clerk-of-Courts Brian Lees announced his decision not to seek a second term, Ashe threw his hat into the ring. A careful, if calculating politician, Ashe’s record made him a strong competitor for the race especially since it appeared that much of the establishment lined up behind him. It is impossible to know how or when the race ended up turning toward the eventual winner Laura Gentile, but a schism within Springfield was at least partly to blame. A gaffe on the part of The Republican during an interview may have damaged Ashe as it incorrectly led to the impression Ashe would not resign his Council seat if elected (he had told WMassP&I the opposite, which was actually the truth). Too little, too late, The Republican tried to correct the situation and assure readers Ashe would not hold both job. Ashe lost to Gentile and returned his focus to the City Council. To that end, in 2013, Ashe took up pawn shop reforms as a cause, often-frustrated by deep opposition by shop owners and, in the Council, by Jimmy Ferrera. Ashe failed to secure passage of the changes in 2013, but within a month of being sworn in for his third Council term, the new rules passed the Council by a wide 11-2 vote.