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Fudge Tapped for Jones Seat

Cleveland-area Democrats have picked a protégé of the late Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio) to follow in her footsteps.

The Cuyahoga County Executive Committee nominated Warrensville Heights Mayor Marcia Fudge today to take the late Congresswoman’s place on the Nov. 4 ballot in the heavily Democratic 11th district.

The committee overwhelmingly nominated Fudge with 175 votes, according to the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party. Former state Sen. C.J. Prentiss received 64 votes, while the Rev. Marvin McMickle received 30 votes during the meeting of appointed and elected Democrats in the district.

Fudge will face little-known engineer Thomas Pekarek (R) on Election Day. The 11th district, which comprises east Cleveland and its suburbs, is a Democratic stronghold.

Fudge worked for Jones as staff director before becoming mayor of the suburban Cleveland town, which has a population of about 15,000.

Jones passed away on Aug. 20 after suffering a brain aneurysm while driving her car in the Cleveland area. Her sudden departure left a void in the Cleveland region less than 80 days before what would have likely been her fifth re-election to Congress.

Meanwhile, 11th district voters will vote in a special election to choose a lawmaker to finish Jones’ term. The primary for that race will be Oct. 14, and the special general election is Nov. 18. Fudge is also a candidate for that special election, along with 12 other Democrats including McMickle and Prentiss, according to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.