WASHINGTON, Ohio — President-elect Joe Biden announced Thursday that Congresswoman Marcia Fudge will officially become his Housing and Urban Development secretary she will be formally introduced Friday by Biden at a news conference in Delaware.
Fudge, a former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, was just elected to a seventh term representing a majority Black district that includes parts of Cleveland and Akron.
Biden has viewed Fudge as a leading voice for working families and a longtime champion of affordable housing, infrastructure and other priorities.
Fudge is the first woman to lead HUD in decades and the second Black woman in history to lead the department, according to Biden’s office.
A special election will take place to fill her vacant seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, according to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office. First out of the gate in that race are Cuyahoga County Councilwoman and County Democratic Party Chair Shontel Brown and former State Senator Nina Turner, both filing the Federal Election paperwork to get the process started.
Turner was co-chair of Bernie Sanders campaign and was reported to be on his shortlist of potential VP candidates.
Former Cleveland City Councilman Jeff Johnson telling News 5 that he will also be a candidate in the race. Johnson challenged Fudge for the seat in 2008 following the death of Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones. Other names being mentioned as possible candidates are Olivet Institutional Baptist Church Pastor Jawanza Colvin, Cleveland Councilman Blaine Griffin, former State Senator Shirley Smith and former State Representative John Barnes who told News 5 isn't daunted by a crowded field.
"It helps the people in the 11th Congressional District to hear various ideas and concerns about where people think they would like to go," Barnes said.
Senator Sherrod Brown is the state's highest ranking Democrat and he tells me he's keeping his thumb off the scales on this one.
"I'm a voter in Marcia Fudge's district, I don't even know who I'd vote for yet because I don't know who is running but it's up to the voters not for the Senator from Ohio to tell people how to vote," Brown said.
The senator may not be saying but News 5 Political Analyst Tom Sutton wonders will the congresswoman?
"The real question is going to be what will Marcia Fudge do in the context of getting involved and perhaps anointing someone in the way that she was by Lou Stokes and that really could be anyone's guess," said Sutton.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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