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John Bradley "Brad" Ashford (born November 10, 1949) is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party from the state of Nebraska, who was the U.S. Representative for Nebraska's 2nd congressional district from 2015 to 2017. He was formerly a member of the Nebraska Legislature, representing the 6th district from 1987 to 1995 and the 20th district from 2007 to 2015.

Brad Ashford
Brad Ashford Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Nebraska's 2nd district
In office
January 3, 2015 – January 3, 2017
Preceded by Lee Terry
Succeeded by Don Bacon
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 68)
Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.
Political party Democratic (1984–1988, 2013–present)[1]
Other political
Republican (1967–1983, 1989–2011)
Independent (2011–2013)
Alma mater Colgate University
Creighton University School of Law

He was elected to the U.S. House in 2014, defeating incumbent Republican Lee Terry. In 2016, he lost his bid for re-election to Republican Don Bacon, and is running again for the seat in 2018.


Early life, education and careerEdit

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]

Political careerEdit

Ashford served as an attorney in the general counsel's office of the Federal Highway Administration from 1974 to 1975, and as a judge on the Nebraska Court of Industrial Relations from 1984 to 1986.[2]

Nebraska legislatureEdit

He was first elected to Nebraska's unicameral 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 served as chair of the Judiciary Committee and was a member of the Education Committee and the Committee on Committees.[citation needed]

He was on the following committees:

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

Omaha Mayoral election, 2013Edit

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[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jean Stothert 18,870 32.20
Democratic Jim Suttle (incumbent) 14,309 24.41
Republican Dave Nabity 10,204 17.41
Nonpartisan Brad Ashford 7,745 13.21
Republican Dan Welch 7,083 12.08
Socialist Workers Maura DeLuca 195 0.33
Nonpartisan Mort Sullivan 153 0.26
Write-in 52 0.09
Total votes 58,611 100

The position of mayor in Omaha is officially a non-partisan position.

U.S. House of RepresentativesEdit



In 1994, Ashford, then a state senator, ran in the Republican primary for Nebraska's 2nd congressional district seat.[4] Jon Christensen won the 1994 primary with 26,494 votes, for 52.7% of the total. Ashford was second in the primary with 12,340 votes (24.5%), and Ron Staskiewicz finished third in the primary with 11,436 votes (22.7%).[5]

In the general election, Christensen defeated incumbent Congressman Peter Hoagland of the Democratic Party by a margin of 92,516–90,750 (49.9%–49.0%), with 2,044 write-ins.[6]


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%.[7]


Ashford ran unopposed in the Democratic primary on May 10, 2016.[8] The general election race was characterized as a tossup, with Ashford being seen as having the edge.[9] On November 8, 2016, he was defeated by the Republican challenger, retired brigadier general Don Bacon, who secured 48.9% of the vote to Ashford's 47.7%, with Libertarian Steven Laird receiving 3.3%.[10][11][12]


On June 19, 2017, Ashford announced that he would seek a rematch against Bacon in 2018.[13] He is running against Kara Eastman, a nonprofit executive, in the Democratic primary.[14]

Committee assignmentsEdit


The Lugar Center, a nonprofit organization led by former U.S. senator Richard Lugar, and the McCourt School of Public Policy of Georgetown University, developed a "Bipartisan Index" that assigned scores to almost all members of Congress, using an algorithm based on their sponsorship of bills that drew co-sponsors from the other party, and on their co-sponsorship of bills introduced by members of the other party. In the 2015 session of Congress, scores for members of the House of Representatives ranged from a low of -2.07 to a high of 1.88. Ashford's rating was 0.78, the 34th-highest of the 438 House members who were rated.[15] For the full 114th United States Congress, Ashford was ranked as the 14th-most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives and the most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Nebraska.[16]

Personal lifeEdit

Ashford is married to Ann Ferlic Ashford. The couple has three children.[2]


  1. ^ Ryan, Laura. "Brad Ashford's Kindness Campaign". Retrieved 2015-04-07. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Senator Brad Ashford's Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  3. ^ "2013 Primary Election Unofficial Results". Douglas County Election Commission. April 2, 2013. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Omaha Democrats have candidate for Congress: Ex-Republican Ashford". Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Official Report of the Board of State Canvassers of the State of Nebraska: Primary Election Held May 10, 1994", p. 10. Downloadable with 1916–1998 canvass books from "Previous Elections", Nebraska Secretary of State; retrieved 2015-01-20.
  6. ^ "Official Report of the Board of State Canvassers of the State of Nebraska: General Election Held November 8, 1994", p. 4. Downloadable with 1916–1998 canvass books from "Previous Elections", Nebraska Secretary of State. Retrieved 2015-01-20.
  7. ^ "Official Results: General Election—November 4, 2004". Archived 4 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Nebraska Secretary of State; retrieved 2015-01-05. Archived 2015-01-04 at Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ James, Karla (May 11, 2016). "Congressman Ashford preparing for General Election". Nebraska Radio Network. Retrieved June 8, 2016. 
  9. ^ Loizzo, Mike (September 26, 2016). "Nebraska's 2nd Congressional District Race Remains a Toss-Up". Nebraska Radio Network. Retrieved December 25, 2016. 
  10. ^ Williams, Jack (November 9, 2016). "Bacon ousts Ashford in Second Congressional District". Retrieved December 25, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Bacon wins Nebraska House Seat After Ashford Concedes". Politico. November 9, 2016. Retrieved December 25, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Official Report of the Board of State Canvassers" (PDF). Nebraska Secretary of State. p. 14. Retrieved February 2, 2017. 
  13. ^ Morton, Joe (June 19, 2017). "Brad Ashford will run again for Nebraska's 2nd District seat". Omaha World-Herald. Retrieved August 4, 2017. 
  14. ^ Tysver, Robynn (May 23, 2017). "Nonprofit executive Kara Eastman will seek Democratic nomination in 2nd Congressional District". Omaha World-Herald. Retrieved August 4, 2017. 
  15. ^ "Bipartisan Index", The Lugar Center; retrieved July 11, 2016. Archived June 5, 2016, at Wayback Machine. Explanation of rating scheme is at "Methodology" tab; ratings for House members are at "New—2015 House Scores" tab.
  16. ^ The Lugar Center - McCourt School Bipartisan Index (PDF), The Lugar Center, March 7, 2016, retrieved April 30, 2017 

External linksEdit

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

Succeeded by
Don Bacon
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