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Rep. José E. Serrano
(D) New York
Stephanie Tubbs Jones was a dear friend of mine and a great leader whose untimely passing came as a great shock.
When I first met her, I had no idea the depth and breadth of her accomplishments. As I learned more, it seemed like she had been the first black woman to achieve everything in Ohio. And she deserved to have been first at everything—she was truly a first-class leader but also down-to-earth. Often you meet people in higher office who have achieved a great deal but are somewhat remote and unapproachable. Stephanie was the complete opposite. Anyone could speak to her about anything and feel that they were truly being listened to and understood. She was, beyond doubt, one of the most kind and compassionate people you could ever meet.
Recently I was deeply impressed with her staunch support for Hillary Clinton in her presidential bid. Stephanie’s support went beyond the political; she truly believed in Hillary and what she represented to women of this country (of any color). And Stephanie was a fabulous advocate for Hillary wherever she was. She would build a case for supporting Hillary that few could argue with. She was the best surrogate a candidate could have.
Finally, her position in the House as Chair of the House Committee on Standards and Conduct (Ethics) speaks volumes to the regard we all had for her. This is the job that no one wants, but that only few can successfully take on. It means that you are regarded by your colleagues as ethically beyond reproach, competent and above all fair. She handled herself with aplomb and confidence and won more respect for her work in this most difficult position.
She did all these things while also displaying a great sense of humor.
Stephanie was a great woman, a great friend and a great leader. She will be missed but not soon forgotten.
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