Ann Ferlic Ashford considering a run for husband’s old seat in 2nd Congressional District
Ann Ferlic Ashford is thinking about following in her husband’s congressional footsteps.
Ashford, 56, is mulling over a bid for the congressional seat once held by Brad Ashford. The Democrat was defeated last fall by Republican Don Bacon after serving a single term in the Omaha-based 2nd Congressional District.
Ashford said she has long wanted to run for Congress but would never have challenged her husband. However, she said, the door suddenly opened for her own congressional bid earlier this year when Brad Ashford decided he would not attempt a comeback bid against Bacon.
Ashford readily acknowledges that her possible political bid may strike some as unorthodox, but the Omaha attorney said she was confident she could prove to voters that it will be a serious bid by an “independent” woman.
“Simply because I am married to (Ashford) shouldn’t disqualify me from pursing something I want to. And simply because I am married to him shouldn’t qualify me either,” Ashford said.
“I need to be looked at as my own individual person, because I am my own individual person,” she said.
She plans to make a final decision later this spring.
Ashford is a lifelong Omahan and, until recently, a lifelong Republican. Her father is Randy Ferlic, a staunch Republican and retired physician who served on the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.
She said she has long been interested in politics, noting this is not her first foray into the fray. Ashford ran unsuccessfully in 2011 for her departing father’s Board of Regents seat but lost to former Omaha Mayor Hal Daub.
Ashford is a newcomer to the Democratic Party. She has been a registered Republican for most of her life, but said she decided last year that her party had changed. That realization came, in part, with the nomination and election of Donald Trump.
Ashford voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“I finally reached the point where I realized the old-fashioned Republican Party that I could hold my head up high and be proud of no longer existed,” said Ashford, who registered as a Democrat in December.
Ashford graduated from Westside High School in 1978, then attended the University of Notre Dame and Creighton University School of Law.
Ashford said her husband thought long and hard about attempting to win back the 2nd District congressional seat. He lost by 1 percent to Bacon, a retired general with the U.S. Air Force.
However, at the end of the day, Ann Ashford said her husband decided he was more interested in working for a nonprofit company in Omaha that is attempting to develop a streetcar in the midtown area.
Ashford said there is little doubt she will rely upon her husband for political advice, but, she said with a laugh, Brad Ashford knows that she would run her own campaign and would be her own woman if elected to Congress.
“We’re independent people, he’d be happy to tell you,” she said.