Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (D-OH-11th District) seems to have hopes of becoming the next Speaker of the House, but the chances of that happening have gotten a lot slimmer now that a three-year-old letter has surfaced.
In the 2015 letter to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, Fudge is showing support for Judge Lance Mason, who at the time was facing a prison sentence for the brutal 2014 beating of his wife Aisha Fraser. Mason punched Fraser 20 times and smashed her head against a car dashboard with such force that her orbital bone was broken. He did this in front of their two daughters.
Four years later, Mason is now the prime suspect in the stabbing death of Fraser last weekend, and Fudge’s letter has come back to haunt her.
In her 2015 letter of support, Fudge heaps high praise on the admitted domestic abuser.
“This letter of support on behalf of Lance T. Mason, comes as the result of more than 20 years of friendship she wrote. “The behavior Lance displayed on August 2, 2014 is out of character and totally contrary to everything I know about him.”
“Lance accepts full responsibility for his actions and has assured me that something like this will never happen again,” she continued. “Lance Mason is a good man who made a very bad mistake. I can only hope that you can see in Lance what I and others see.
Mason was sentenced to 24 months in prison and served 9 of those months.
We have found a letter of support from @RepMarciaFudge during the 2015 sentencing of Judge Lance Mason after the severe beating of his wife Aisha Fraser. Mason is now the lead suspect in the weekend murder of Fraser. @cleveland19news pic.twitter.com/6Yzgw2gkkD
— Dan DeRoos (@DanDeRoos19) November 19, 2018
Response to Criticism
Fudge released a statement to News19 about the 2015 letter:
“My heart breaks for Aisha Fraser. I pray for Aisha’s family, especially her children, as they attempt to deal with this tragedy. My support of Lance in 2015 was based on the person I knew for almost 30 years – an accomplished lawyer, prosecutor, state legislator and a judge. That’s the Lance Mason I supported. The person who committed these crimes is not the Lance Mason familiar to me. It was a horrific crime. I and everyone who knew Aisha are mourning her loss.”
The 2015 letter was before the resurgence of the #MeToo movement and the toppling of several prominent men due to the mistreatment of women (and men). Fudge’s 2015 words are particularly grating due to the fact that the victim of Mason’s horrific abuse in 2014 is now dead from a brutal knife attack and Mason is once again the prime suspect.
Fudge was not the only person to offer a letter of support to Mason at that time, but she may be the only who is currently rallying against Nancy Pelosi to become the next House Speaker now that Democrats snatched control of the congressional chamber in the midterm elections.
“My concern about the caucus is the same concern I have about the country. Just as there is this undertone of racism in the country, there’s also that in our caucus,” Fudge said in an interview with the Huffington Post. “I don’t hate Nancy. I think Nancy has been a very good leader,” Fudge told HuffPost. “I just think it’s time for a new one.”
Fudge pointed to the fact that Pelosi wants endorsements from African-American House members, but has yet to endorse anyone in the race for majority whip.
“What is wrong with acknowledging the fact that the Democratic Party is becoming more young, more black, and more brown?“And letting that be reflected in our leadership,” said Fudge without plainly admitting an intention to become Speaker of the House.