Hat Tip: Cleveland Plain Dealer
Officials updated her condition this afternoon after conflicting reports that the congresswoman was dead. Numerous media outlets – including The Plain Dealer on its Web site cleveland.com, CNN and the Associated Press – reported that Tubbs Jones had died.
Tubbs Jones, 58, served as a Cuyahoga County judge and prosecutor before succeeding U.S. Rep. Louis Stokes. She has served five terms in Congress and is expected to easily win her sixth in November.
She was driving in Cleveland Heights Tuesday about 9 p.m. when a police officer pulled her over for driving erratically. The officer found Tubbs Jones unconscious but breathing. She was rushed to Huron Hospital.
The mood of supporters around noon was somber. Cleveland Councilman Roosevelt Coats was seen sobbing outside the hospital. He said Tubbs Jones was unconscious and her friends and relatives were preparing for the worst.
Tubbs Jones has long been one of the region’s most recognizable politicians. Often clad in red — the color of her sorority Delta Sigma Theta — she is a regular at parades, senior centers and schools. Her annual Labor Day picnic at Luke Easter Park is a must-stop for any serious Democratic candidate running in the city, county or state.
She has been outspoken in her support of black candidates. She backed Raymond Pierce in his unsuccessful bid for mayor in 2001. Four years later, Tubbs Jones played a key role in helping Frank Jackson defeat Jane Campbell. She also stumped for countless black judicial candidates.
Tubbs Jones drew attention this year for her staunch support of U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton’s bid for the Democratic nomination for president. Tubbs Jones drew some criticism for her support of Clinton and not U.S. Sen. Barack Obama.
Her husband, Mervyn Sr., died unexpectedly in 2003.
U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones’ family and officials at Huron Hospital have announced that the five-term congresswoman has died.
She was 58.
This is the statement:
Tubbs Jones Family, Huron Hospital and Cleveland ClinicAugust 20, 2008 – 6:40 p.m.
“Throughout the course of the day and into this evening, Congresswoman Tubbs Jones’ medical condition declined. Medical doctors and neurosurgeons from Huron Hospital and Cleveland Clinic sadly report that at 6:12 p.m. Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones died.
She dedicated her life in public service to helping others and will continue to do so through organ donations.
Please keep her family and friends in your thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.”