Brad Ashford “A Dedicated Public Servant”

Brad Ashford (Courtesy Photo)
The Daily Record

Brad Ashford

November 10, 1949 – April 19, 2022

“A Dedicated Public Servant”

Former U.S. Rep. Brad Ashford, a Democrat who served one term representing Nebraska’s Omaha-centered district, died Tuesday morning. He was 72.

Ashford’s family announced his death in a Facebook post, saying “his death was peaceful though much too premature.” Just two months earlier, Ashford had revealed he was undergoing treatment for brain cancer.

Ashford was a state senator from Omaha when he unseated longtime Republican incumbent Lee Terry to represent Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District. Ashford lost the seat two years later to current GOP Rep. Don Bacon.

He sought the seat again in 2018, but lost the Democratic primary to Kara Eastman. In 2020, his wife, Ann Ferlic Ashford, announced her candidacy for the seat, but she also lost the primary to Eastman. Brad Ashford shook up the general election race by endorsing Bacon over Eastman.

An attorney and lifelong Omaha resident, he began his political career in the 1980s as a Democrat but switched parties several times over the years and pitched himself as an independent-minded moderate.

Ashford earned his bachelor’s degree from Colgate University in 1971 and his law degree from Creighton University in Omaha in 1974. He worked as an attorney for the Federal Highway Administration in 1974 before opening a private practice the next year. In the 1990s, he became co-owner of the Nebraska Clothing Company.

Govenor Pete Ricketts released a statement on Tuesday morning: 

“Susanne and I are saddened to receive news of Brad Ashford’s passing,” said Gov. Ricketts.  “Brad was a dedicated public servant, who cared deeply for the state of Nebraska.  Please join us in praying for Brad’s wife, Ann, and the rest of the Ashford family.  We send them our sincerest condolences.”

The Nebraska Democratic Party chair, Jane Kleeb released a statement on behalf on the NDP: 

“Representative Brad Ashford was a hero to many. He served the people of the state with pride, skill and grace. Brad was a rare public servant who had a true, unselfish heart. May we all strive to build bridges in order to find common ground just like Brad did every day.”

Ashford touched the hearts of many as a dedicated public servant, guest columnist, and educator to the citizens of the state of Nebraska. Ashford once said, “Solutions over politics, our kids deserve that of us.” A sentiment that rang true for his political and personal philosophies.


He is survived by his wife, three children and a granddaughter.


Parts of this obituary first appeared in The Associated Press. The office of Pete Ricketts released Rickett’s statement, and the Nebraska Democratic Party released the subsequential statement. All were first released on April 19, 2022.


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