The widow of Rep. Elijah Cummings announced Monday evening that she will run for her husband’s Baltimore congressional seat, saying her husband had wanted her to “continue this fight.”
“Tomorrow, I will announce that I will be running for the Congress, the seventh congressional district of Maryland,” Maya Rockeymoore Cummings said during an appearance on MSNBC. “I believe very strongly 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.”
“I fought right alongside Elijah for the last 12 years, and we knew each other another 10 years before that,” she added. “So I’ve been on this path for fighting for the soul of our democracy, for fighting for healthcare, education, for a better America for all.”
Cummings passed away suddenly at 68 on October 17 due to complications arising from long-term health issues. The Baltimore native and civil rights advocate became the first African-American and African-American lawmaker to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol, and his death elicited emotional tributes from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
“He wanted me to continue this fight, and I’m going to continue this fight and run the race and prayerfully win,” Cummings’s wife said.
Rockeymoore Cummings, 48, married the Maryland congressman in 2008 and currently chairs the Maryland Democratic Party. She is considered the favorite to fill her husband’s vacant seat in a special election, although two other candidates are running for it.
The late veteran Democrat congressman chaired the House Oversight Committee and had been spearheading impeachment proceedings against President Trump along with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel. His death leaves a void in the leadership conducting hearings and extracting documents and testimony from impeachment witnesses. Representative Carolyn Maloney, (D., N.Y) has succeeded Cummings as acting chair of the Oversight Committee.