Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 2012, 1st term.

Born: January 13, 1971, Huntington, W.Va.

Home: Garrison

Education: 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.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Christian

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.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-3465

(202) 225-0003

CHOB- Cannon House Office Building Room 314
Washington, DC 20515-1704

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-3465

(202) 225-0003

CHOB- Cannon House Office Building Room 314
Washington, DC 20515-1704

DISTRICT OFFICE

(859) 426-0080

(859) 426-0061

541 Buttermilk Pike Suite 208
Crescent Springs, KY 41017-1689

DISTRICT OFFICE

(859) 426-0080

(859) 426-0061

541 Buttermilk Pike Suite 208
Crescent Springs, KY 41017-1689

DISTRICT OFFICE

(606) 324-9898

(606) 325-9866

1700 Greenup Avenue Room 505
Ashland, KY 41101-7663

DISTRICT OFFICE

(606) 324-9898

(606) 325-9866

1700 Greenup Avenue Room 505
Ashland, KY 41101-7663

DISTRICT OFFICE

(502) 265-9119

(502) 265-9126

108 West Jefferson Street
LaGrange, KY 40031-1108

DISTRICT OFFICE

(502) 265-9119

(502) 265-9126

108 West Jefferson Street
LaGrange, KY 40031-1108

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

PO Box 821
Newport, KY 41072-1072

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(859) 283-2012

PO Box 821
Newport, KY 41072-1072

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Seana Cranston
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff

Aerospace

David Silvers
Legislative Assistant

Agriculture

Seana Cranston
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff

Appropriations

Seana Cranston
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff

Budget

Seana Cranston
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff

Campaign

David Silvers
Legislative Assistant

Education

Seana Cranston
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff

Energy

Scott Knittle
Legislative Assistant

Environment

David Silvers
Legislative Assistant

Finance

Scott Knittle
Legislative Assistant

David Silvers
Legislative Assistant

Foreign

Seana Cranston
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff

Govt Ops

Scott Knittle
Legislative Assistant

Health

Seana Cranston
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff

Homeland Security

Seana Cranston
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff

Scott Knittle
Legislative Assistant

Immigration

Seana Cranston
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff

Intelligence

Seana Cranston
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff

Judiciary

Seana Cranston
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff

Labor

Seana Cranston
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff

Military

Seana Cranston
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff

Public Works

Scott Knittle
Legislative Assistant

Science

David Silvers
Legislative Assistant

Small Business

David Silvers
Legislative Assistant

Tax

David Silvers
Legislative Assistant

Technology

David Silvers
Legislative Assistant

Telecommunications

Scott Knittle
Legislative Assistant

Trade

David Silvers
Legislative Assistant

Transportation

Scott Knittle
Legislative Assistant

Veterans

Seana Cranston
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Thomas Massie
Votes: 186,036
Percent: 62.13%
William Adkins
Votes: 104,734
Percent: 34.98%
2012 PRIMARY
Thomas Massie
Votes: 19,689
Percent: 44.83%
Alecia Webb-Edgington
Votes: 12,557
Percent: 28.59%
Gary Moore
Votes: 6,521
Percent: 14.85%
Walter Schumm
Votes: 3,514
Percent: 8.0%
Prior Winning Percentages
2012 special (60%)

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