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Friday, March 19, 2021

Congressional Primary Election to Replace Marcia Fudge Set for Aug. 3

Posted By on Fri, Mar 19, 2021 at 2:22 PM

click to enlarge Scene archival photo of voting location - ERIC SANDY/SCENE
  • Eric Sandy/Scene
  • Scene archival photo of voting location

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose and Gov. Mike DeWine announced Thursday that the special primary election to replace congresswoman Marcia Fudge, who was recently sworn in as President Joe Biden's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, won't be held until Aug. 3.

The general election for the seat will be held three months later, on Nov. 2, the same day Clevelanders will elect the mayor and city councilpeople.

For Fudge's seat — in a rock-solid, gerrymandered Democratic district created for Lou Stokes in the early 90s and held only by Stokes, Stephanie Tubbs-Jones and Fudge — the general election will be a formality. The winner of the Democratic primary will be expected to win the seat.

Seven candidates have already entered the race, with Cuyahoga County Councilwoman and local Democratic party chair Shontel Brown and former Ohio state senator and Bernie Sanders surrogate Nina Turner considered the two frontrunners. Former Cleveland City Councilman Jeff Johnson and former state senator Shirley Smith are also running. Others may yet enter the fray and have until early May to file paperwork for their candidacies.

With the current schedule, the 11th congressional district will be without an official representative for most of 2021. DeWine and LaRose blamed the lengthy appointment process of Fudge and the costs associated with additional special elections for the delay, but said the timeframe was not out of the ordinary and would give both voters and candidates time to participate in the process.

When Stephanie Tubbs-Jones died in office in 2008, Marcia Fudge won both a special election to serve the final month of Tubbs-Jones' term and the general election for the full term beginning in 2009.

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