Candidates for Cummings’ Seat Fundraising Off Impeachment

Maya Rockeymoore Cummings pauses while speaking during funeral services for her husband, the late Rep. Elijah E. Cummings. AP Photo/Julio Cortez, Pool.

At least two of the candidates running in the special election to replace the late U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) have issued fundraising appeals seeking to raise money off the vote in the House of Representatives Wednesday night to impeach President Trump.

Former U.S. Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D) said he “watched with a mix of sadness and resolution” as the House impeachment vote went down.

“When President Trump was elected in 2016, I, like many Americans, held my breath and hoped for stability in our republic,” Mfume wrote in a fundraising email. “Instead, we have an administration that is destabilizing our environment, undermining our Constitution, demonizing others for political gain, ignoring the rule of law and abandoning allies.”

Mfume closed his appeal this way: “I am ready to speak up and stand up for what is right and to fight back against that which is wrong. But I can’t do it without you.”

Former Maryland Democratic chairwoman Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, the late congressman’s widow, was out with a fundraising appeal within minutes of the impeachment vote.

“Earlier this year, my late husband, Congressman Elijah Cummings, posed a question to the country: ‘When we’re dancing with the angels, the question will be asked: In 2019, what did we do to make sure we kept our democracy intact.'”

Rockeymoore Cummings said congressional Democrats “took a stand for our democracy and upheld their oaths of office to defend the Constitution,” and she vowed, “I will be as fierce a defender of democracy as my husband was in Congress, and it would be an honor to build upon his legacy.”

Rockeymoore Cummings sent a follow-up email Thursday night, quoting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) referring to Elijah Cummings as “our North Star.”

(These candidates aren’t the only ones fundraising off impeachment. Trump’s reelection campaign sent out a fundraising email Thursday with the subject line, “Make them pay.”)

Rockeymoore Cummings got some nice air time on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Thursday, where she said she “thought of Elijah” while she watched the impeachment proceedings Wednesday (Elijah Cummings performed the wedding ceremony for the show’s hosts, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski).

Running against several women in the Feb. 4 special election primary, Mfume’s campaign on Thursday announced the formation of Women for Mfume, a group of several dozen women who are publicly supporting him. It will be led by Thelma Daley, former national president of Delta Sigma Theta, and includes former state Sens. Shirley Nathan-Pulliam and Joan Carter Conway, former Baltimore City councilwoman Rikki Spector, and Prince George’s County Councilmember Jolene Ivey.

Meanwhile, University of Baltimore Constitutional law professor C. Michael Higginbotham formally launched his campaign for the vacant 7th District seat on Thursday night with an event at XS Restaurant in the Mt. Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore.

Higginbotham recently loaned his campaign $500,000, in an effort to deemphasize fundraising. He also this week called on Trump to resign.

Meanwhile, another candidate for Cummings’ seat, former state Sen. Jill P. Carter (D-Baltimore City), is expected to announce an endorsement Friday from Baltimore City Councilman Ryan P. Dorsey (D).

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