In October 2006, the Republican Party ran radio and television ads characterized by some as racially tinged.
In Congress, Ford opposed benefits for same-sex couples and supported the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would have defined marriage as one man and one woman.
The Ford family has long been prominent in Memphis' African-American community. As was expected, he easily won the Democratic primary, followed by his election in November.
Taking office at the age of 26, he was one of the youngest members of Congress in US history and the youngest in the 105th and 106th Congresses.
A June 7, 2005, article in The Washington Times reported that from 1998 to 2003, Ford took 61 privately funded trips but did not file travel disclosure forms with the House clerk for the trips, as required by the chamber's ethics rules, until August 2003.
Ford's office called the late filings a "mere oversight", since Ford had filed the required financial disclosure statements for the trips at the time they occurred.