Widow of late Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings announces campaign for husband's seat

The widow of late Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said on Monday that she will launch a campaign to win her husband’s seat as representative of Maryland’s 7th Congressional District.

Maryland Democratic Party Chairwoman Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, 48, initially told The Baltimore Sun that she would formally announce her campaign on Tuesday, nearly a month after her husband died of cancer on Oct. 17 at age 68.

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Rep. Elijiah Cummings served nearly two decades in Congress and played an integral role in the early stages of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump as the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

In her first televised interview since her husband’s death, Rockeymoore Cummings said on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show Monday evening that she and her husband decided about six months ago that she would be the best fit to carry on his legacy and vision for the Baltimore district.

“I have the background and the focus and the commitment and the ability to take the reins and to make a good run for this seat,” Rockeymoore Cummings said. “I fought right alongside Elijah for the last 12 years, and we knew each other another 10 years before that.”

Rockeymoore Cummings also said that the same week she plans to announce her campaign, she will also undergo surgery for a preventative double mastectomy. She said her husband had urged her to undergo the procedure before he died. Her mother died of breast cancer in 2015 and her sister was diagnosed last year.

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“This was scheduled before running for office was ever a consideration before Elijah’s health took a really bad turn for the worse,” she said. “He went with me to the doctor's appointment where I got a consultation about this option and he agreed and begged me several times before he passed away to prioritize myself.”

Rockeymoore Cummings is a public policy consultant who founded the Washington consulting firm Global Policy Solutions LLC and a former 2018 candidate for governor, The Baltimore Sun reported.