Election 2008

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Carolyn Kaster/AP
Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-Ohio

Ohio Congresswoman Tubbs Jones Dies at 58

August 20, 2008 10:04 PM
by Emily Coakley
Stephanie Tubbs Jones, a Democratic congresswoman from Ohio’s 11th district, suffered an aneurysm Tuesday night. She died Wednesday.

Family and hospital announce death

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U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones was the first African-American woman elected to Ohio’s congressional delegation.

Earlier Wednesday, some media outlets cited unnamed sources and reported that she had died while she was still in critical condition. By midafternoon, one such blog post on Cleveland.com was removed and a CQ story was altered, though the page title retained the earlier headline.

A statement from the Tubbs family, Cleveland Clinic and Huron Hospital posted on Cleveland.com Wednesday evening said Tubbs Jones died at 6:12 p.m. Wednesday.
 
Throughout the course of the day and into this evening, Congresswoman Tubbs Jones’ medical condition declined,” the statement read.
The congresswoman represented part of Cleveland and was in her fifth term, according to her biography. She was chairwoman of the House Ethics Committee, was the first black woman on the House Ways and Means Committee, and was expected to easily win in her heavily Democratic district in November.

Democratic officials in her county must now nominate a replacement candidate for the November ballot, according to CQ Politics.

Reactions: ‘a tremendously vibrant presence’

In a statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “Stephanie Tubbs Jones broke barriers her entire professional career: she was the first African-American and the first female prosecutor in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. She was the first African-American woman to sit on the Common Pleas bench in the Ohio. As the first African-American woman to be elected to Congress from Ohio, and the first African-American woman to serve on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, Stephanie Tubbs Jones always worked to ensure that the House of Representatives reflected the diversity of the American people.”
 
 
“Whether you were a presidential candidate, a colleague debating on the floor or a friend passing time, you wanted her on your team for her quick legal mind, tenacious debating skills, her infectious humor and that thousand watt smile,” Clyburn said in a statement posted on Capitol Briefing, a Washington Post blog.
 
Ill. Sen. Barack Obama called her an “outstanding public servant.”
 
“It wasn’t enough for her just to break barriers in her own life. She was also determined to bring opportunity to all those who had been overlooked and left behind—and in Stephanie, they had a fearless friend and unyielding advocate,” he said in a statement posted on his blog.
 
Tubbs Jones had supported N.Y. Sen. Hilary Clinton’s presidential bid. Clinton, in a statement posted on her site, recalled Tubbs Jones’s fighting spirit: “It was that fighting spirit—safely stowed behind her disarming smile, backed by so much integrity and fiery intelligence—that allowed Stephanie to rise from modest beginnings, to succeed in public service, to become a one-woman force for progress in our country.”
On Wednesday afternoon, the GOP posted a small item on the Republican National Committee blog: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones.”
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