Thomas Massie ContactBack to top
Address: 314 CHOB, DC 20515
Phone: (859) 426-0080
Address: 541 Buttermilk Pike, Crescent Springs KY 41017-1689
Phone: (606) 324-9898
Fax: (606) 325-9866
Address: 1700 Greenup Avenue, Ashland KY 41101-7663
Phone: (502) 265-9119
Fax: (502) 265-9126
Address: 108 West Jefferson Street, LaGrange KY 40031-1108
Thomas Massie StaffBack to top
Thomas Massie CommitteesBack to top
Thomas Massie BiographyBack to top
- Elected: Nov. 2012, 1st full term.
- District: Kentucky 4
- Born: Jan. 13, 1971, Huntington, W.Va.
- Home: Garrison
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, B.S., 1993; M.S., 1996
- Professional Career:
Founder, chairman, and chief technology officer, SensAble Technologies, 1993-2003; farmer, 2003-present.
- Political Career:
Judge-executive, Lewis County, 2010-12
- Ethnicity: White/Caucasian
- Family: Married (Rhonda Massie); 4 children
Freshman Republican Thomas Massie rose above a crowded field to win the GOP primary in the 4th District, which paved the way for him to replace retiring Republican Rep. Geoff Davis in 2012.
Massie has an impressive scientific background. He was raised in Vanceburg, Ky., and attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While at MIT, Massie was part of a group that invented the Phantom, a device enabling users to interact with objects in cyberspace through touch. To market the product, he and his wife, Rhonda (his high school sweetheart and also an MIT student), started the firm SensAble Technologies in 1993. In 1995, he won a $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for his work in technology. After earning his master’s degree in engineering in 1996, Massie continued to raise venture capital to expand the company.
Massie eventually left SensAble Technologies in 2003, and moved back to Kentucky with his family to run a farm, where he built a timber-frame house that runs on solar energy. He got interested in politics after learning about a proposed tax in Lewis County that would fund a building for a local conservation office. After writing a letter to the editor objecting to the tax, “It was probably at that point there was no turning back from my involvement in politics,” he later told a gathering in Newport, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer.
In 2010, he entered the political fray by winning a campaign for Lewis County judge-executive. In that position, Massie boasted that in the first nine months, he eliminated enough wasteful spending to pay his first three years of salary.
Massie launched his campaign to replace Davis in January 2012. A self-described “conservative with conviction and common sense,” Massie campaigned on his business background and budget-cutting experience as a county official. In an early speech, Massie harkened to his time with SensAble: “For me, the government was one of those entities that was putting land mines in the field that I had to navigate when we started the company.” In a seven-candidate field, Massie’s two closest competitors were establishment favorites: Republican state Rep. Alecia Webb-Edgington and Boone County Judge-Executive Gary Moore. Webb-Edgington was a former state trooper and narcotics detective known for her strong work ethic. She also had Davis’ endorsement.
But Massie attracted the all-important support of tea party activists. He had been a strong supporter of tea party favorite Rand Paul during Paul’s 2010 U.S. Senate race, and Massie named former Paul aide Ryan Hogan as his campaign manager. Paul later appeared in a TV ad for Massie. Webb-Edgington and Moore attacked Massie for benefiting from the largesse of Liberty for All, a Texas-based super PAC that generated controversy when reports surfaced that it was primarily bankrolled by James Ramsey, a 21-year-old Texas college student with a hefty inheritance. He provided the group with more than $500,000 to spend on behalf of Massie.
Still, Massie effectively portrayed himself as the outsider in the race, while Webb-Edgington and Moore split the establishment vote. Massie won the primary handily, with 45% of the vote to Webb-Edgington’s 29% and Moore’s 15%. In the special election necessitated by Davis’ early departure, Massie easily beat Grant County lawyer Bill Adkins. He showed his rebellious streak on his first House vote in January 2013, refusing to back Ohio Republican John Boehner for a new term as House speaker, instead voting for Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., who had no chance of winning.Show Less
Thomas Massie Election ResultsBack to top
2012 special (60%)