State Representative Elected County Commissioner

CLEVELAND (AP) - State Rep. Peter Lawson Jones of Shaker Heights was elected Saturday to fill the Cuyahoga County commissioner seat vacated by Mayor Jane Campbell.

The county's Democratic precinct committee members elected Jones over county Recorder Patrick O'Malley by a 648-414 vote. Jones (pictured, right) was sworn in immediately.

"I look forward to the challenge of addressing the problems and the needs of the greatest county in the state of Ohio," he said.

County Democratic Party Chairman Jimmy Dimora, also a county commissioner, said Jones "has the experience, the strength and the vision to be an outstanding commissioner."

He is only the second black person to serve as a county commissioner. The first, Virgil Brown, was a Republican.

The commissioner's seat pays $81,240. The three-member commission is Cuyahoga County's central governing body and oversees a $1 billion budget and about 10,000 employees.

Jones will have to win voter approval this year in the primary and general elections to serve beyond 2002.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)