Political News

Cummings' widow to lose in special election primary to fill late congressman's seat

Posted February 5, 2020 12:40 a.m. EST

— The widow of the late Rep. Elijah Cummings will lose a crowded special Democratic primary election Tuesday for a chance to serve the remainder of her husband's term in Congress.

Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, a former chairwoman of the Maryland Democratic Party, was among 24 candidates in the special election vying for the seat.

Kweisi Mfume, a former congressman and president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, easily won the nomination with more than 40% of the vote. Mfume last served in Congress in 1996.

Mfume will face Republican Kimberly Klacik in the April special election, who topped the field of eight running for the Republican nomination.

The winner of the April special election will fill Cummings' seat in the 7th Congressional District through January 2021. The Baltimore-area district is considered safely Democratic.

"My message to voters is that we have hope for the Baltimore region and for the 7th Congressional District," Rockeymoore Cummings told reporters earlier Wednesday in a video retweeted by her campaign account, adding that "my race is about driving toward the future, making sure that we're developing and embracing a future that's inclusive of all."

When asked what her late husband would say about the crowded field, she replied, "He would say great. This is about democracy, this is what he was fighting to protect. ... Elijah was a fierce defender of democracy, and this is what democracy is all about."

Rockeymoore Cummings announced in November that she would run in the special election for her late husband's former seat in Congress, telling The Baltimore Sun that she would resign from her state party position ahead of the campaign.

"We fought alongside of each other for a very long time, and now I'm looking to continue to fight. He would want me to continue to fight and so that's what I'm going to do," Rockeymoore Cummings said in a video interview with The Sun.

Elijah Cummings died of "complications concerning longstanding health challenges" on October 17 at age 68. He had represented Maryland's 7th District, which includes Baltimore, since 1996. He served as the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, one of the panels involved in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

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