The most coveted and “hard-to-earn” endorsement in the campaign to succeed legendary and nationally renowned Hampden County Sheriff Michael J. Ashe, Jr. has been won by Nick Cocchi. Sheriff Ashe, in front of a packed, standing room-only crowd of Cocchi supporters at The Castle of Knights in Chicopee, made it clear that Cocchi had earned his support.
“In January, 2014, when I announced I would not run for re-election, I said I had no “anointed successor”.
“However, I stand here tonight to tell the residents of Hampden County that I endorse without reservation, Nick Cocchi to be our next Sheriff. Nick has earned the endorsements of so many law enforcement and public safety unions. For over 2 years Nick has talked to residents from Wilbraham to Westfield, meeting with and listening to people at their doors, in their churches and at their kitchen tables. To me, Nick Cocchi is the only candidate with the experience and vision to preserve the best of what we have accomplished together and lead us into the future contending with the new challenges we face as correctional professionals,” said Sheriff Ashe.
“I’ve proudly worked my entire adult life to earn the opportunity to serve the people of Hampden County as their next Sheriff. Throughout my career, Sheriff Ashe has recognized my contributions by promoting me through the ranks and enabling me to now serve as the Department’s Assistant Superintendent. I am proud to have had the privilege of being on a team that is recognized nationally as one of the very best in the nation.
For me, only earning the support of the people of Hampden County on September Eighth could be a higher achievement than winning the endorsement of Sheriff Michael J. Ashe, Jr., one of the greatest Sheriff’s in the United States of America”, said Cocchi.
Ashe addressed the process that lead to his decision to endorse Cocchi:
“Although I attended the campaign announcements of Nick Cocchi and another staff member who announced for Sheriff out of respect for their careers and service to the Department, I stayed out of this race for twenty months. This past September I began to recognize the effort Nick Cocchi was making to become our next Sheriff and understand the incredible vision that Nick has for the future of the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department.
When I announced I was not running for reelection, I said that when and if the time came, if I was compelled by a candidacy, I would lend my support to that individual without reservation and hesitation.
Tonight, I stand before you to give my whole-hearted, official public and proud endorsement to Nick Cocchi as the next Sheriff of Hamden County, “ said Ashe.
“Sheriff Ashe’s endorsement tonight, his quiet efforts since September, have made had a stunning impact on our campaign. We already had built our own strong organization of volunteers. 1600 people attended our Cocchi campaign announcement, and we’ve built greatly upon that base. I’ve met over 22,000 people at their front doors, at meet-and-greets and events in every city and town. We have city and town coordinators and ward and precinct captain’s in-place for over a year. But we needed the official endorsement of the man who has taken this department from the old York Street Jail to the amazing social service and life-redeeming professional correctional organization that it is today,” said Cocchi.