Tubbs Jones numerous accomplishments include many firsts
Stephanie Tubbs Jones’ political résumé was filled with both public service and political activism. And her numerous accomplishments include many firsts:
In 1983, after serving as a Cleveland Municipal Court judge, she became the first black woman to become a Cuyahoga County Common Pleas judge.
With the backing of Cuyahoga County Democratic Party leaders, she was appointed in 1991 to succeed legendary prosecutor John T. Corrigan, becoming the county’s first black prosecutor. She won re-election in 1992 and 1996.
After winning a heated primary fight and a general election in 1998, Tubbs Jones succeeded 15-term Congressman Louis Stokes, becoming the first black woman to represent Ohio in the U.S. Congress. She was re-elected four times.
In 2001, she put her political capital on the line by backing an unknown black lawyer, Raymond Pierce, in Cleveland’s mayor’s race. Her support propelled him out of a crowded primary. Pierce lost to Jane Campbell, but she was defeated in 2005 by Frank Jackson, who also had Tubbs Jones behind him.
In 2003, Tubbs Jones became the first black woman to sit on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.
In 2003, Tubbs Jones campaigned for a winning slate of black candidates for Cleveland Municipal Court, helping knock off powerful surnames on the ballot. “If I don’t support African-American candidates, the playing field never levels,” she said at the time. “That’s not to say I will always support African-American candidates.”
After the 2004 presidential election, she provoked nationwide controversy by challenging certification of Ohio’s 20 electoral votes on the House floor. Her effort failed but she continued to be an advocate for voting reforms.
In 2007, after a series of scandals had rocked the House of Representatives, she got one of the most politically sensitive posts in Washington — the Ethics Committee chair.
In 2008, she campaigned for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton, despite overwhelming support for Sen. Barack Obama in her district. She remained loyal to Clinton until Clinton suspended her campaign.