OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A state senator from Omaha has announced that he's running for Congress, hoping to unseat Republican incumbent Lee Terry.
Sen. Brad Ashford announced his intention via Twitter late Wednesday and said he'll soon file as a Democrat in the 2nd Congressional District race.
"Congress is more dysfunctional than ever and middle-class Nebraskans are getting hurt," Ashford said in a news release sent Thursday morning. "I'm running because I have a proven track record of working across the aisle, and I'll bring that record to Washington to cut through the gridlock."
He said he would also find "bipartisan, common-sense solutions to cutting wasteful spending and growing our economy."
The 64-year-old Ashford is the second Democrat to enter the race. Omaha City Councilman Peter Festersen dropped out in December after two months on the campaign trail. Omaha Republican businessman Dan Frei is challenging Terry in the primary.
Ashford is chairman of the Legislature's Judiciary Committee and has represented Omaha's District 20 for 16 years: from 1987 to 1995 and since 2007. He can't seek re-election this year because of term limits.
In December 2011 Ashford left the Republican Party, changing his voter registration to independent. He said in an interview with the Lincoln Journal Star that he "wanted to send a message that this is where I think I belong."
This past August he switched to the Democratic Party.
Ashford finished fourth in the officially nonpartisan primary for Omaha mayor in April 2013 and later said he'd learned that a candidate couldn't win without a party affiliation.
Terry has held the House seat since 1999. He won 51 percent of the more than 248,000 votes in the November 2012 general election against Democrat John Ewing.