A successful 35 year career in corporate HR and health care left Ann Ashford with an impressive business background, but for many years, she had no real desire to enter politics.
In her earlier life, she liked the Republican’s “stay out of my bedroom, stay out of my wallet” approach, she said. “I was always socially liberal, but I became not so much of a fiscal conservative,” she said. “I understand the need for some government spending… We need those regulations that put the parameters around unrestrained capitalism.”
After the watershed 2016 election, “I knew I could no longer try to change (the Republican) party from the inside which is what I always dreamt I could do… I changed parties because what I saw was the Democrats truly accepting this broad swathe of people”
Despite the current fractious political climate, she said, “I think across the board 70 percent of us are somewhere in that spectrum of being centrists or moderates. And then there’s 15 percent on either side.”
In its second installment of Zoom interviews with the challengers for the Democratic nomination for Congress, The Reader asked Ashford for her take on her campaign finances, insurance and healthcare, divisive rhetoric and working across the aisle, education, the wealth tax, universal background checks for firearm sales, pathway to citizenship for DACA and immigration policy, environmental protection and the responsibility of current leaders to mentor those who are coming up.