Brad Ashford has the qualified and experienced resumé to best represent you in Congress.
A 5th generation Nebraskan, the sense of commitment to service and love of state is engrained in Brad, passed down from generations of servant leaders. He is the eldest son of Don Ashford and Ellen Swanson. Don, a Distinguished Flying Cross recipient and decorated WWII bomber pilot flew missions on D-Day. Ellen was actively involved in numerous philanthropic causes and ran her own small business, during a time when women-led companies were quite rare. Ellen’s father, Otto Swanson, was a well-known business owner and philanthropist in Omaha. In an effort to combat a local boycott of Jewish-owned businesses in the 1930′s, Otto, along with local leaders, formed The National Conference of Christians and Jews, a non-profit still alive today in Omaha, now known as Inclusive Communities.
With a family background of public service it’s not surprising that at a very young age, Brad sought out to pursue a career in public service. His belief in rolling up his sleeves and getting to work started as a boy stocking shelves at his parents’ small business, Nebraska Clothing Company. This experience shaped him greatly, and not only did he learn the value of hard honest work, combined with the importance of fairness and relationship building; it instilled in him the importance of uniting for a common purpose and investing in and giving back to the community that he lived and loved. Brad has proudly devoted his entire life working to improve the lives of Nebraskans. His results-oriented nature and strong belief that we cannot advance as a society without working together, a value all Nebraskans take pride in. Brad’s public service has spanned across three decades, proving time-and-time again that his first priority is the people of Nebraska and has made our state an exceptional place to live, work, and raise a family.
He first experienced Washington while attending Colgate University where he worked for famed U.S. Senator Roman Hruska. After finishing Law School at Creighton University in 1974, he was hired as an attorney for the General Counsel’s Office of the Federal Highway Commission in Washington D.C. However, Brad knew his passion was for serving Nebraskans thus he returned home to marry and raise his family, joining the law firm Bradford and Coenen.
Elected in 2014 to serve Nebraska’s 2nd District in Congress, Brad was one of only two democrats in the nation to beat an incumbent. Despite the Congress being deeply divided and mired in shutdowns and a freshman lawmaker in the minority party, he worked across the aisle to fulfill the promises he made to the District when first declaring his candidacy. “It’s the Nebraska Way,” he often says.
On top of this list of accomplishments includes being recognized as the 4th “Most Bipartisan Member of Congress”. With great knowledge of the legislative process, Brad’s efforts secured funding for a new, internationally vital Ebola Training and Education Center in Omaha, passed groundbreaking federal law that will not only bring a much needed Veterans Affairs medical facility to Omaha, but will, for the first time ever, allow VA centers across the nation to benefit from public-private partnerships. Lastly, he secured funding for repairs for the runway at Offutt Air Force Base, making sure that the brave men and women of the 55th remain in Sarpy County.
Brad has left his mark across Nebraska, often tackling the most divisive and challenging yet important issues of our time. He’s seen firsthand how good legislation can positively impact people’s lives. Nebraska is one of the most business-friendly states in the nation, in part due to Brad’s efforts in the Unicameral, modernizing business incentives, passing the largest tax cut in the state’s history at that time, leading efforts to responsibly cut spending during the recession, while protecting our priorities.
He spent years advocating for public education, raising standards for special education and ensuring fair pay for Nebraska’s teachers. While in the Unicameral, Brad was a leader in fighting crime; cracking down on illegal handguns that plagued our streets and increased penalties for gang-related crimes and human trafficking. He also lead the initiative to revitalize Downtown Omaha, securing funding to preserve Joslyn Castle, renovate the Civic Auditorium in the 90’s, and paved the way for Omaha’s arena and convention center, the Century Link Center. After 16 years, he built a strong reputation for his leadership skills and ability to bring people together to find solutions that have a lasting impact on our state.
Brad is married to lawyer and heath care executive Ann Ferlic Ashford and is the proud father to John, Ellie, and Tom; all of whom grew up attending Omaha’s public schools. Their families have long been active throughout the community, with a deeply held commitment to the importance of public service.