Brad Ashford

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Brad Ashford
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Nebraska's 2nd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded by Lee Terry
Member of the Nebraska Legislature
from the 20th district
In office
January 2007 – January 2015
Preceded by Jim Jensen
Succeeded by John McCollister
Member of the Nebraska Legislature
from the 6th district
In office
January 1987 – January 1995
Preceded by Peter Hoagland
Succeeded by Pam Brown
Personal details
Born (1949-11-10) November 10, 1949 (age 65)
Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.
Political party Republican (1967-1983)
Democratic (1984-1988)
Republican (1989-2011)
Independent (2011–2013)
Democratic (2013–present)[1]
Alma mater Colgate University
Creighton University

John Bradley Ashford (born November 10, 1949), usually known as Brad Ashford, is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party from the state of Nebraska, who is the U.S. Representative for Nebraska's 2nd congressional district. He was formerly a member of the Nebraska Legislature, representing the 20th district from 2007 to 2015. He previously represented the 6th district from 1987 to 1995.

He defeated Republican Congressman Lee Terry in the 2014 elections, one of only two Democrats to defeat incumbent House Republicans in that year's elections, along with Gwen Graham of Florida.

Early life, education and career[edit]

Born in Omaha, Nebraska, he attended Westside High School. He received his B.A. from Colgate University in 1971. He earned his J.D. from Creighton University School of Law in 1974.[2]

  • AV-Rated Attorney, Bradford and Cohen, 1975–Present
  • Co-Owner, Nebraska Clothing Company, 1993-2006
  • Vice President/Business Development Investor,, 1998-2003
  • Judge, Nebraska Court of Industrial Relations, 1984-1986
  • Hearing Examiner, Nebraska Department of Education, 1983-1984[2]

He is a member of the following professional organizations:

  • Executive Director, Omaha Housing Authority, 2004
  • Member, American Arbitration Association
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Minnesota Bar Association
  • Member, Nebraska Bar Association
  • Member, Nebraska Bar Foundation
  • Member, Nebraska Court of Industrial Relations
  • Member, Omaha Bar Association

Political career[edit]

Ashford has had the following political experience:

  • Senator, Nebraska Legislature, 1987-1995, 2006–present
  • Judge, Nebraska Court of Industrial Relations, 1984-1986
  • Attorney, General Counsel's Office, Federal Highway Administration, Washington, D.C. 1974-1975[2]

He was first elected to the Legislature in 1986 serving Nebraska's 6th legislative district. He was reelected in 1990 and retired in 1994. He ran for legislature again in 2006, and was elected to serve Nebraska's 20th legislative district. He is chairman of the Judiciary Committee and serves on the Education Committee and the Committee on Committees.

He is on the following committees:

  • Business and Labor, Member
  • Judiciary, Chair
  • Urban Affairs, Member[2]

Campaigns and elections[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]


In 1994, Ashford, then a state senator, ran in the Republican primary for Nebraska's 2nd congressional district seat.[3] Jon Christensen won the 1994 primary with 52.70% (26,494 votes). Ashford was second in the primary with 24.55% (12,340 votes), and Ron Staskiewicz finished third in the primary with 22.75% or 11,436 votes. Christensen defeated incumbent Congressman Peter Hoagland of the Democratic Party in the general election on November 8, 1994.[4]


In 2014, Ashford was elected as Representative for the 2nd Congressional District, defeating 8-term Republican incumbent Lee Terry with 49.0% of the vote to Terry's 45.7%.[5]


Scott Kleeb, who previously ran for Nebraska's 3rd congressional district election, 2006, has been mentioned as a possible challenger to Ashford in the 2016 Democratic primary, which will occur on Tuesday, May 10, 2016.[6] Former Republican State Senator and Tea Partier Chip Maxwell, who almost ran as an Independent against Lee Terry in 2012, will challenge Ashford in 2016.[7]

Omaha Mayor[edit]

Ashford ran for Mayor of Omaha in 2013 as an independent candidate. He was defeated in the primary.

Omaha mayoral primary results, April 2, 2013[8]
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Jean Stothert 18,870 32.20
Nonpartisan Jim Suttle (incumbent) 14,309 24.41
Nonpartisan Dave Nabity 10,204 17.41
Nonpartisan Brad Ashford 7,745 13.21
Nonpartisan Dan Welch 7,083 12.08
Nonpartisan Maura DeLuca 195 0.33
Nonpartisan Mort Sullivan 153 0.26
Write-in 52 0.09
Total votes 58,611 100

Personal life[edit]

Ashford is married to Ann Ferlic, and has three children: John, Ellie, and Tom.

He has been a member of the following community organizations:

  • Member, Omaha Suburban Rotary
  • Member, Westside High School Open Enrollment Committee
  • Member, Phi Beta Kappa
  • Former Board Member, Downtown Omaha, Incorporated
  • Past Vice President, Old Market Association
  • Past Chair, Omaha Housing Authority
  • Past Board Member, RACECO
  • Former Member, Salvation Army Advisory Board[2]


External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Lee Terry
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Nebraska's 2nd congressional district

Nebraska Legislature
Preceded by
Peter Hoagland
Member of the Nebraska Legislature
from the 6th district

Succeeded by
Pam Brown
Preceded by
Jim Jensen
Member of the Nebraska Legislature
from the 20th district

Succeeded by
John McCollister
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Rick Allen
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Brian Babin