In Memoriam: Stephanie Tubbs Jones
A courageous American has died:
EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio (AP) -- Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, the first black woman to represent Ohio in Congress and a strong critic of the Iraq war, died Wednesday after a brain hemorrhage, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Tubbs Jones represented the heavily Democratic 11th District and chaired the ethics committee in the House. She was the first black woman to serve on the powerful Ways and Means Committee, where she opposed President Bush's tax cuts and his efforts to create personal accounts within Social Security.
Tubbs Jones was a firm supporter of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton during the primaries until throwing her support behind Sen. Barack Obama in June. She was to have been a superdelegate at next week's Democratic National Convention in Denver.
The Clinton family released a statement saying they shared a friendship with Tubbs Jones that "deepened through every trial and challenge."
"Over the course of many years, with many ups and many downs, Stephanie was right by our side -- unwavering, indefatigable," the statement said. "It was that fighting spirit ... that allowed Stephanie to rise from modest beginnings, to succeed in public service, to become a one-woman force for progress in our country."
Obama called Tubbs Jones "an extraordinary American and an outstanding public servant."
"It wasn't enough for her just to break barriers in her own life. She was also determined to bring opportunity to all those who had been overlooked and left behind -- and in Stephanie, they had a fearless friend and unyielding advocate," Obama said in a statement.
Tubbs Jones was a passionate opponent of the Iraq war, voting in 2002 against authorizing the use of military force.
Just as the war was starting in March 2003, she was one of only 11 House members to oppose a resolution supporting U.S. troops in Iraq. She said she did so because the resolution connected Iraq to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and said Iraq poses a continued threat to the United States.