Maya Rockeymoore Cummings Plans to Run for Congress
Black Enterprise magazine Fall 2019 issue

According to The Baltimore Sun, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, widow of Baltimore Rep. Elijah Cummings, will seek his seat in Congress.

Rep. Cummings, who was chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, died last month from “complications concerning long-standing health challenges.” The Democratic congressman represented Maryland’s 7th Congressional District, which includes large swaths of Baltimore and some suburbs, for more than 20 years.

Rockeymoore Cummings, the chair of the Maryland Democratic Party, revealed her intentions Monday evening on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, telling Maddow that she will make her announcement the following day. “I believe very strongly that 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,” she told Maddow. “I fought right along Elijah for the last 12 years.”

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan set a primary date in the race for Feb. 4 with a general election planned for April 28.

“I’ve been on this path for fighting for the soul of our democracy, for fighting for health care, education, for a better America for all,” Rockeymoore Cummings said. “He wanted me to continue this fight and I’m going to continue this fight and run the race and prayerfully win.”

“I am, of course, devastated at the loss of my spouse, but his spirit is with me,” Rockeymoore Cummings, 48, said in an interview with The Baltimore Sun. “I’m going to run this race and I’m going to run it hard as if he’s still right here by my side.” She also stated in the interview that her husband told her months before he died that he would like for her to succeed him. “That was a discussion we had some months ago,” she said. “In the end, he was conflicted about whether he should resign or stay in office. We thought there might be a turnaround. It didn’t happen.”

Rockeymoore Cummings also said she will have a preventative double mastectomy Friday and believed the surgery would take her off the campaign trail for up to four weeks. “I’m going to take the time I need to heal and do what I can behind the scenes to make sure my campaign is strong,” she said. “It’s going to be a sprint election.”

Rockeymoore Cummings is a public policy consultant, the founder of the Washington consulting firm Global Policy Solutions L.L.C., and a former 2018 candidate for governor.