In Fundraising Email, Rockeymoore Cummings Says She Feels Called to Carry on Husband’s Work

    Maya Rockeymoore Cummings. File photo

    Moments after announcing Tuesday that she’ll be a candidate in the special election to replace the late U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), former Maryland Democratic Chairwoman Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, the congressman’s widow, emailed a fundraising appeal.

    It carried the subject line, “Our work continues.”

    “The decision to run for Congress has not come lightly,” she wrote. “As I reflect on the legacy of my late husband, Elijah Cummings, I feel called to ensure his vision for Baltimore and this country are honored.

    “My whole career I have fought to be a voice for the voiceless, focusing on creating a more equitable and inclusive America where every single person has the opportunity to succeed. As the former board chair of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, I’ve been a staunch defender of these programs for twenty years. As chair of Maryland’s Democratic Party, I’ve worked to ensure Democrats running for office have the resources they need to win up and down the ballot.

    “In Congress, I will be a champion for public education, affordable health care and voting rights, and will work every day to expand opportunity and lift up all communities.”

    Rockeymoore Cummings’ missive also makes reference to the investigative work her husband, the former chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, conducted on the Trump administration.

    “Like Elijah, I am guided by an unwavering belief that this country is better than what we see coming out of the White House every day,” she said. “I am dedicated to restoring honor and integrity to our government.”

    Rockeymoore Cummings described the weeks since her husband’s death on Oct. 17 as “a journey” that led to her decision to run for his seat.

    “The outpouring of support I’ve received from so many of you in recent weeks has meant the world to me,” she wrote. “I’m so grateful to be on this journey together.”

    Rockeymoore Cummings became the third “name” Democratic candidate to enter the 7th District special election, joining state House Majority Whip Talmadge Branch (D-Baltimore City) and former U.S. Rep. Kweisi Mfume, the congressman’s predecessor.

    State Sen. Jill P. Carter (D-Baltimore City) has created an exploratory committee to raise money and is expected to formally enter the race next Monday.

    The special primary is set for Feb. 4, with the general election scheduled for April 28, to coincide with Maryland’s regular 2020 primary elections. The filing deadline for special election candidates is Nov. 20.

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.