OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — According to a Facebook post from his family, former U.S. Representative Brad Ashford died Tuesday at 72-years-old.
He served as a Nebraska state senator for 16 years total, from 1987 to 1995 and from 2007 to 2015. Additionally, he represented Nebraska's 2nd district in Congress from January 2015 to January 2017.
Ashford was a 4th generation Nebraskan who was born and raised in Omaha. Along with his political
duties, he was an attorney, Commissioner for the Commission of Labor Relations, a small business owner, Executive Director for the Omaha Housing Authority, and a founding member of the Metropolitan Community and Entertainment Authority (MECA).
Ashford was battling brain cancer.
Plans for a memorial service are still in progress.
See statements from Ashford's colleagues below.
I am sad to learn of the passing of Brad Ashford. I feel privileged to call him a friend and will miss him. His kindness, integrity, and commitment to public service impressed me from our first meeting and will stay with me. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/EWuVrj3dqL— Sara Kohen (@sara_kohen) April 19, 2022
I just learned that former State Senator and Congressman Brad Ashford passed away. While I never served with him I had the honor of working with him on healthcare issues. He cared deeply about his family, community and constituents. He will be greatly missed.— State Senator Adam Morfeld (@Adam_Morfeld) April 19, 2022
I worked with Brad Ashford for several years before we ran against each other for Congress. He was always kind and helpful. My thoughts are with his family - many of whom I got to know throughout the campaign.— Kara Eastman (@_karaeastman) April 19, 2022
U.S. Senator Deb Fischer
“Brad Ashford was a kind man. He believed in the goodness of his fellow man, in service to others, and in strengthening and growing his community. Brad loved his wife, Ann, and his family deeply. Bruce and I extend our deepest condolences to them at this difficult time," said U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.)
U.S. Senator Ben Sasse
“Brad committed his life to Omaha and Nebraska — leaving a legacy of public service. Melissa and I are praying for Ann and the Ashford family."
Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert
"I extend the heartfelt condolences of our city to the family and friends of Brad Ashford. Brad had a unique and special skill of bringing people together for the common good. His passion for public service and ability to solve complex problems led to leadership roles over several decades.
Brad’s tireless advocacy for our state and nation made a profound difference for all of us. His approach to dealing with people of varied interests is one we should all emulate. In 2013, Brad and I competed against each other in the primary election for Mayor. I value the friendship we developed as a result of that campaign. I will miss his creativity, passion, and laugh."
Commissioner Mary Ann Borgeson, chair of the Douglas County Board of Commissioners
"On behalf of the Douglas County Board of Commissioners, I wish to extend our deepest sympathy to the friends and family of Brad Ashford. Brad was a champion for Douglas County as a State Senator and as a Congressman. He was always willing to work with us to make Douglas County the best it could be. We will miss Brad deeply and will keep his wife Ann and their family in our thoughts as they travel through this journey."
Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts
“Susanne and I are saddened to receive news of Brad Ashford’s passing. 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.”
Nebraska Democratic Party Chair Jane Kleeb
“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.”
Nebraska Democratic Party Executive Director Precious McKesson
“Brad Ashford was a great representative of Nebraska. The work he did for our veterans and underserved communities will always be remembered. Brad was loved by many and will be missed."
I send my deepest condolences to Ann and the entire Ashford family. Omaha lost a giant, strong pillar today; a family man who had deep roots here and dearly loved this community. (1/3)— Rep. Don Bacon 🇺🇸🇺🇦 (@RepDonBacon) April 19, 2022
I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of Brad Ashford. I knew Brad for over 65 years. We went to high school together. I knew Brad’s parents. Brad was a friend, colleague and statesmen and will be missed. My thoughts are with Ann and the rest of his family right now. 🙏— Senator McCollister (@SenMcCollister) April 19, 2022
President of Nebraska Farm Bureau Mark McHargue
“Brad Ashford was an advocate for farmers and ranchers, who worked across the political aisles to find common ground on issues. We worked well with him, both in the Legislature and the U.S. House of Representatives, as his ability to get things done across party lines was always apparent. We lost a great public servant, and our thoughts and prayers are with the Ashford family.”