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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH) in Critical Condition after Suffering Massive Aneurysm

George Wenschhof is reporting that she suffered a massive aneurysm while driving Tuesday night in Cleveland, Ohio. 4:57 PM ET Update - The Cleveland Plain Dealer earlier posted online that she has passed away but now indicates she has limited brain function and is in critical condition. She was the first African-American woman elected to Congress from Ohio and has served five terms. Read more here. 7:30 PM ET Update - the family released a statement that at 6:12 PM Stepanie Tubbs Jones had died. Read more here.

Representative Jones was full of vigor and enthusiasm and gave it her all in her never ending support for Senator Hillary Clinton in her quest for the Democratic Party nomination. Her loss would not only be a big loss for the Democratic Party but for everyone who has come in contact with her.

I met Stephanie Tubbs Jones back in 2002 when she was the speaker for the Frederick County, Maryland Democratic Party Jefferson/Jackson Day Dinner. At the time, I was the District Coordinator for the Frederick County Democratic Party. The person who helped to secure her as the speaker was the late Rodney Pulliam. He had worked for her previously and I had gotten to know him when he was running for Alderman for the City of Frederick in the 2001 election.

Stephen Slater, who is currently the Secretary of the Frederick County State Democratic Central Committee is who picked her up and drove her to Frederick and then back to the airport. When I contacted Stephen, he had already heard the news and was saddened. He remembered the time spent with her in the car and said she was a amazing woman to speak to who spoke a lot about her son.

Mr. Pulliam was another individual with a wonderful infectious personality and a keen intellect who I still often think about and wonder what if? He was hired by newly elected Mayor Jennifer Dougherty as the City COO after his unsuccessful bid for Alderman. Sadly, he and his three sons were killed tragically in a automobile accident prior to him beginning work on his new job at city hall. His passing was also prior to Representative Jones addressing the local Democrats at their Jefferson/Jackson Day Dinner.

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