EUCLID, Ohio (AP) - Democratic Party leaders in northeast Ohio have chosen a suburban Cleveland mayor to replace the late Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones on the Nov. 4 ballot.
Fifty-five-year-old Warrensville Heights Mayor Marcia Fudge parlayed key endorsements to become the party's nominee in the heavily Democratic 11th Congressional District, which includes part of Cleveland and its eastern suburbs. She'll run against 59-year-old Republican Thomas Pekarek, who has run unsuccessfully for public office numerous times.
Fudge is a former chief of staff to Tubbs Jones. She had the backing of Tubbs Jones' predecessor, Louis Stokes, and Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, and told members of the Cuyahoga County executive committee that her experience as a congressional aide made her well-qualified.
Fudge won 175 of 281 votes in the five-way race that included former state Senators C.J. Prentiss and Jeffrey Johnson, former Cleveland Councilman Bill Patmon, and the Rev. Marvin McMickle. The same group has filed to run in the Oct. 14 Democratic primary for the right to advance to a Nov. 18 special election.
Since no Republican has filed, the winning Democrat will serve out the last few months of Tubbs Jones' term.
Tubbs Jones was the first black woman to represent Ohio in Congress. She died unexpectedly on Aug. 20 after suffering a brain hemorrhage.