CLEVELAND — If Rep. Marcia Fudge accepts President-elect Joe Biden’s offer to become his administration's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the governor will direct a special election to fill her vacant seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, according to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office.
Fudge currently represents Ohio’s 11th District, which in Ohio's gerrymandered fashion includes Cleveland and other parts of Cuyahoga County before making a beeline south into Summit County and Akron.
Fudge was elected to Congress in 2008 and reelected in November, beating Republican challenger Laverne Gore 80% to 20%. The 11th is a Democratic stronghold in Ohio, previously represented by Stephanie Tubbs Jones and Louis Stokes.
When a vacancy in the office of a representative to Congress occurs, the governor will issue a writ of election directing that a special election be held to fill the vacancy within the territory entitled to fill it on a day specified in the writ, according to the website for the Secretary of State.
That writ will be directed to the board of elections in the territory, and the board will give notice of the time and places of the election, which will be conducted like a regular state election, the Secretary of State’s website states.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, has yet to publicly comment on Biden's selection of Fudge as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, or when the special election to fill her seat would take place.
While political experts were expecting Fudge to be tapped to fill a position in Biden’s cabinet, the selection for HUD Secretary came as a surprise to some, as she was reportedly a favorite for the Secretary of Agriculture post.
"Now it may seem strange to a lot of people that someone representing a largely urban and suburban district would be appointed to the Department of Agriculture as the Secretary, but what we have to remember is this is also the department that handles the SNAP program also known as food stamps,” said News 5 Political Analyst Tom Sutton back in November.
Fudge is also chair of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition.