James Ashby is well-known for taking selfies with politicians from across the state and nation.
But North Texans in the grassroots community, along with many legislators, know him best as a cheerful volunteer who’s more than willing to roll up his sleeves behind the scenes. “Not all campaigns might want me volunteering,” Ashby cheerfully conceded, “…but almost none want me working against them!”
Ashby attends every political gathering he can fit into his schedule. Originally from Oak Park, Illinois, he exemplifies the “happy warrior” mantra popularized by former President Ronald Reagan. For him, volunteering has literally become a full-time job.
“I took an early retirement three years ago at age 58 to volunteer full-time for conservative candidates and causes,” Ashby explained. “When I was nine years old, I actually did some work for Barry Goldwater’s 1964 campaign … but my real political ramp up was in the 2012 Republican Primary with the NE Tarrant Tea Party. Through strong engagement, we were able to unseat five incumbents who’d been in office for 12-plus years. That proved to me the power of grassroots involvement. Since my early retirement, I have attempted to commit at least 40 hours per week towards political involvement.”
The successful ousting of state-level incumbents has been one of Ashby’s most powerful motivating forces. He tirelessly (and generously) gives his time, talents, and treasure to the conservative movement. He has helped countless candidates across Texas with block walking, campaign sign placement and removal, sign grommet installation, sound reinforcement, polling place electioneering, or social media posting. Ashby does it all.
Well, almost anything, he says. “I’ll do anything except phone banking,” Ashby chuckled. “Other people are better at that than I am.”
Ashby believes his continued political involvement will help to reverse the trend of governmental excess, waste, and fiscal insanity plaguing America. And while he’s not bashful about his support of presidential candidate Ted Cruz, Ashby’s focus is on impacting Texas at the state and local level where citizens are making enormous strides in a positive direction.
In recognition of his dedication to volunteering, he was awarded the Conservative Leaders Award in 2015. “I am grateful for the efforts of Empower Texans. I would like to see every voter in the state reading the Texas Scorecard on a regular basis before heading to the polls.”
Ashby emphasized that the ever-increasing march of big government into the lives of Americans is not unique to Washington D.C., rather it’s a problem at all levels that threatens economic prosperity and personal liberty.
“I want government at all levels restricted to core functions and constitutionally delegated roles,” Ashby articulated. “I want all government living within its means, and to see the restoration of the boundaries between local, state, and federal relegated to their constitutionally enumerated limitations.”
Ashby reiterated a sense of urgency for more citizens to become actively engaged by educating others, impacting political races, and petitioning officials for reforms that put the freedom and prosperity of Texans first.
“Due to government overreach and profligate spending, both the U.S. and the world economy are on the brink of collapse. I feel it is important to educate the electorate of the danger we face unless fundamental changes are made to restore constitutional limits on government.”
In his leisure, Ashby enjoys high fidelity sound and the “playback of recorded music.” He is either an active member or a board member of 15 Republican clubs, Tea Party groups, and conservative organizations. Due to the amount of resources he’s donated to conservative candidates and causes at all levels, he plans to return to the workforce after the 2016 general election.