WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, an Ohio Democrat who was one of the few dissenting voices in Congress during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, died on Wednesday after a brain aneurysm, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Tubbs Jones, who represented parts of Cleveland and its eastern suburbs, suffered the aneurysm while driving her car in suburban Cleveland Heights, her office said earlier in the day. She was 58.
Tubbs Jones' condition declined throughout the day and she died at 6:12 p.m., Cleveland Clinic spokeswoman Eileen Sheil said in a statement.
Her death will not alter the balance of power in the U.S. House of Representatives, where Democrats hold a comfortable majority.
First elected in 1998, Tubbs Jones headed the House Ethics Committee and was the first black woman to serve on the tax-writing Ways and Means committee.
Tubbs Jones compiled a solidly liberal voting record during her decade in office and was one of only 11 Democrats in the 435-member House who voted against a 2003 resolution supporting President George W. Bush and U.S. troops at the start of the Iraq war.
After the 2004 presidential election, she protested suspected voting irregularities in her home state, which Democrat John Kerry lost narrowly to Bush. She lodged a complaint in Congress that led to an unusual debate challenging the result.
Tubbs Jones was a prominent backer of New York Sen. Hillary Clinton during the Democratic presidential primaries. She was planning to attend the Democratic convention in Denver next week where Barack Obama will be nominated to face Republican John McCain in the November 4 election.
(Reporting by Andy Sullivan and JoAnne Allen; Editing by Peter Cooney)