Republican strategist Kimberly Klacik announces run for Elijah Cummings' Baltimore seat

As President Trump launches a new initiative to court black voters, Republican strategist Kimberly Klacik hopes to help his efforts by running for respected Congressman Elijah Cummings' seat in Maryland.

The former chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee passed away in October at the age of 68 after battling health problems.

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As a vocal critic, Cummings had feuded with the president over living conditions in Baltimore which the president said was a "rat and rodent infested mess."

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Appearing on "America's News HQ: Weekend" with host Ed Henry, Klacik said that Democrats talk about everything but helping black neighborhoods and "actively vote against things that offer the black community more opportunities."

She said that they put illegal immigrants' needs ahead of the needs of United States citizens -- adding that living conditions on the border "were better than the living conditions in some areas of West Baltimore."

"That has to end," she said.

Klacik also defended the president's tweets

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"He was literally repeating what everybody has been saying for years," she said.

"We need changes -- not just in Baltimore but on Capitol Hill."

"First of all, they're not getting any work done -- if we're going to be honest," she told Henry. "But also, we need stronger Republican voices against socialism, against the 'Squad'...just helping with his policies and draining the swamp. And I think, honestly, the American people need stronger voices on transparency within Congress."

Klacik said that while it's "going to be an uphill battle," she is going to knock on every door in her District to take Cummings's seat.

On the Democrat side, at least two people have thrown their hat in the ring.

Former NAACP President Kweisi Mfume announced plans Monday to seek his old seat again.

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Mfume, a Democrat who represented the Baltimore-area congressional seat before Cummings from 1987 to 1996, is the second candidate to enter the Democratic primary. Talmadge Branch, the House of Delegates Majority Whip, said he would run on Thursday, according to the Baltimore Sun. Cummings' widow, Maya Rockeymoore-Cummings, has also said she is also considering joining the race.