Biden expected to name Marcia Fudge as HUD secretary, but she comes with a controversial past

Sources tell Fox News Fudge and Biden share the belief that they can help eradicate hunger and homelessness.

President-elect Joe Biden plans to name Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, to serve in his cabinet as head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, two Democratic sources with knowledge of the situation told Fox News on Tuesday.

Fudge has served as the representative for Ohio’s 11th Congressional District since 2008. Prior to her selection as HUD Secretary, Fudge had campaigned for a Cabinet appointment and lobbied the Biden-Harris transition team to be secretary of agriculture.

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While the Biden-Harris transition team has yet to announce Fudge’s appointment, sources tell Fox News that the president-elect admires Fudge's depth of experience as a longtime champion of affordable housing and revitalization issues. In addition, she and Biden share the belief that they can help eradicate hunger and homelessness, especially among families dealing with the pandemic. 

Fudge, who is the former Congressional Black Caucus Chair and Mayor in Ohio, will also be the first female to lead HUD in over 40 years. 

Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill, Fudge said it would be an "honor and a privilege" to serve in the cabinet, but did not confirm whether she had been picked.

Politico was first to report Fudge's selection.

Earlier Tuesday, House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., told MSNBC that Biden would nominate Fudge for a cabinet position.

Fudge serves on several House committees, including agriculture and education and labor. Several progressive groups had called on the president-elect's team to appoint Fudge to a cabinet position.

The prospective appointee could face opposition from Republicans during her confirmation process. In 2015, the congresswoman asked a judge for leniency on behalf of former Ohio state legislator Lance Mason, who was charged with assaulting his then-wife, Aisha Fraser, in front of their children. Mason served nine months in jail before murdering his ex-wife in 2018.

Fudge later expressed shock over Mason's actions. He was sentenced to life in prison in 2019.

“My heart breaks for Aisha Fraser. I pray for Aisha’s family, especially her children, as they attempt to deal with this tragedy,” Fudge said in a statement in 2018 after Mason's arrest. “My support of Lance in 2015 was based on the person I knew for almost 30 years — an accomplished lawyer, prosecutor, state legislator and judge. That’s the Lance Mason I supported. The person who committed these crimes is not the Lance Mason familiar to me. They were horrific crimes, and I condemn them.”

With roughly one month to go until his inauguration, Biden’s Cabinet has begun to take shape in recent days. The president-elect has tapped retired four-star Gen. Lloyd Austin to serve as secretary of defense.

Fox News’ Jacqui Heinrich, Peter Doocy and Patrick Ward contributed to this report.