Former MassLive president Allison Werder mulling Republican run against state Rep. Brian Ashe

Allison Werder, the former president of MassLive, is considering a run for state representative.

Werder, 47, a Republican living in Longmeadow, formed a campaign committee to explore a run for the 2nd Hampden seat currently held by Rep. Brian Ashe, D-Longmeadow.

"I'm considering it," Werder said in an interview. "I'm having conversations, seeing what the opportunity is."

Werder said she plans to make a final decision by early February.

The district includes Longmeadow, Hampden, Monson and parts of East Longmeadow.

Ashe has held the House seat since 2008 and ran unopposed in the last two elections. He confirmed Wednesday that he plans to run for re-election.

Werder was hired in 2013 as president of MassLive, which is the statewide website affiliated with the The Republican. MassLive and The Republican are separate units of the same parent company, Advance Local. Werder stepped down in February 2017.

In 2016, Werder co-founded WIT: Women Innovators and Trailblazers, an initiative created by the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts and Valley Venture Mentors that provides funding and mentoring to female-led startups in Western Massachusetts. She remains active in that organization today.

Werder said she believes more women need to run for office. "I just think we need a seat at the table," Werder said. "Women's perspective in politics is a valuable one."

Werder said her work at MassLive and her family background have prepared her to run for office. Her mother was a Republican state senator in Western Pennsylvania. Her father is a judge.

Before coming to MassLive, Werder lived in New Jersey, where she worked as executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Parade Magazine. She joined Parade in 2002 after working for Time Inc.'s Money and People magazines.

She is a Pennsylvania native. She earned a bachelor's degree from Notre Dame and a master's of business administration from Georgetown University.

After she left MassLive, Werder said she took time off to spend the summer with her children. She has been involved with local nonprofits, including Valley Venture Mentors, has consulted for local organizations, and has been exploring a run for state representative.

In November 2017, Werder donated $1,000 to Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and $500 to Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. Her husband, Craig Werder, donated $1,000 to Baker in 2016.

Asked about Werder's potential run, Ashe said, "That's what our political system is based on, giving people the opportunity to step up and run. If she thinks she wants to take a shot at this race or any other race, good for her."

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