Republican Laverne Gore is challenging Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Warrensville Heights, for the District 11 Congressional seat during the Nov. 3 general election. Rep. Fudge has held the seat since 2008.
Rep. Fudge declined an interview with the Times.
District 11 includes Glenwillow, Orange Village, Pepper Pike and Woodmere.
Rep. Fudge, 68, serves on the Committee on House Administration, House Committee on Agriculture and the House Committee on Education and Labor.
Ms. Gore, 62, of Cleveland graduated from Pitzer College in California with a bachelor’s degree in economics and European history and earned a master’s in education from Cleveland State University.
She also earned a master’s degree in public health from the Northeast Ohio Universities College of Medicine, a partnership with CSU. She has served as the senior vice president of L.A. Gore and Associates since 1990, which is a consulting group focused on marketing health products and behaviors.
Ms. Gore said that she is running for Congress because District 11 is deteriorating. Before Rep. Fudge took office, Ms. Gore said that more businesses were operating successfully in the district and there was a strong sense of community.
“Right now, District 11 has none of that,” Ms. Gore said. “You see deterioration in the 11th district. There is a lack of community and engagement, it’s incredible. Our elected leadership wants us to think about welfare and social services instead of programs that allow us to have jobs.”
Ms. Gore shared her thoughts on a recovery path from the COVID-19 pandemic. The national economy is “shaken, but not stirred” and she said that a second stimulus bill is necessary. To help the country move forward, there should be more support to secure a vaccine, she said, and people need to feel comfortable going outside.
In regard to healthcare, Ms. Gore said that she does not believe in socialized medicine. Instead, she supports community-based healthcare. She said that many poor people use the emergency room instead of preventive care. By bringing healthcare into local neighborhoods, Ms. Gore said that residents would receive consistent care.
She said she supports public education but also believes in school choice. Ms. Gore said that funding dollars should follow the child. For example, if a child in a public school chooses to attend a private school instead, the funding should go from the public school to the private school, she explained.
Ms. Gore talked about the Black Lives Matter movement and described the death of George Floyd while in custody of police in Minnesota as “disgusting.” She said that she supports retraining and restructuring the police, but not defunding police departments. Ms. Gore said that communities are asking too much of their police officers, so there should be an outreach team in place for instances such as domestic disputes and mental health situations.
“We need to restructure and retrain [police officers],” Ms. Gore said. “I do not believe in defunding the police. We have some bad apples, but every bunch does.”
She said that she is supportive of various types of renewable energy to protect the environment but stressed the importance of training current coal workers for new careers before eliminating their jobs. Ms. Gore also commented on absentee voting, noting that she does not have concerns about the mail-in voting process and has used it for many years.
Rep. Fudge has several key issues listed on her campaign website including plans to create an environment that fosters job growth for the underemployed, unskilled, undereducated, chronically unemployed and long-time unemployed people.
The website noted Rep. Fudge’s plans to increase access to high quality public education, especially for children in underperforming subgroups.
Her “current civil rights priority” is to safeguard the rights of voters, especially those targeted by voter suppression, according to the website.
Rep. Fudge earned a bachelor’s degree in business from the Ohio State University and a law degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University.