Im humbled by the people who are calling me and asking me to run, and frankly, Im surprised at some of the folks who have contacted me because they have supported some of the other political candidates in the past, Ashe said.
However, I just think that its fair to the folks who are interested if I was going to seek the office of the Senate that I just go ahead and say publicly that Im not. And I think its fair to the current senator, too.
Ashe said as the executive director of the TSA, hes too busy in the General Assembly right now to think about being a senator.
As the executive director of this organization, which represents the state and law enforcement related issues mainly, Ive been asked to serve on so many committees that deal mainly with law enforcement and local government.
By serving on these committees, Ashe said hes building relationships with state senators and representatives, and that while he actually serves as the associations legislative consultant, hes also the liaison between the leadership in the House, the Senate and the governors office on issues relating to local government and law enforcement.
One of the boards on which he serves in the County Technical Assistance Services (CTAS) Board, along with other executive directors of associations that represent mayors, road departments, clerks, property assessors and others.
We are the advisory entity to The University of Tennessees Institute for Public Service, which is very important because the university is really involved with government, he said. Were tying to give advice and working on other subcommittees to make county government better.
In addition, he serves on the Council for Mental Health, trying to determine a better way of transporting people with mental illnesses to and from facilities. He also serves on the federal Impaired Drunk Driving Task Force, which was established to find better ways to drive down traffic fatalities, as well as the states Meth Task Force.
Ashe also works with an entity he helped create in the 1990s, the Public Safety Coalition, which is made up of sheriffs, police chiefs and district attorneys. A very small organization, its purpose is to help the leadership of those three groups establish the most important legislative needs that affect all of them.
Recently, he was asked to serve on the Advisory Council for the Department of Childrens Services as the only law enforcement representative.
This council has a good cross section of people from across the state, and were trying to make sure that when children get put into foster care, they are getting the best attention and dont slip through the cracks, Ashe said. This is a brand new initiative, and it will take a lot of my time.While much of his time is taken up with state-related issues, he also works with 42 other counterparts throughout the country on national issues going before Congress.
This has turned into a fairly busy job, Ashe said. I had to weigh all of those things. When 94 sheriffs say to you unanimously, Youre the guy we want to lead our organization. Youre the person we want to be the face of our organization, its kind of humbling, just like when youre elected by the people.
As far as seeking public office in the future, Ashe would only say he still has some of those still under advisement. I will make my decision on those in the near future.
Amelia Morrison Hipps may be contacted at email@example.com.