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Rep. Elijah Cummings widow expected to run for his seat

Representative Elijah Cummings, a Democrat from Maryland, right, and Maya Rockeymoore Cummings arrive to a state dinner hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama and U.S. first lady Michelle Obama.

Photo Credit: Photo by Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images 

by Patrick Forrest

The state of Maryland’s seventh district Representative Elijah Cummings, passed away Thursday after serving the area for 24 years. Now, his widow Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings — who also is chair of the Maryland Democratic Party — is expected to run for his Congressional seat, according to Fox News. Cummings was scheduled for reelection in 2020.

“He worked until his last breath because he believed our democracy was the highest and best expression of our collective humanity,” Rockeymoore wrote in a statement. “I loved him deeply and will miss him dearly.”

In accordance with Maryland law, Governor Larry Hogan is tasked with issuing a proclamation to schedule special election dates and has not made a decision yet on how to proceed according to an official spokesperson.

Hogan has one week to issue a proclamation with dates of special primary and general elections. After that, the special primary election would be held on a Tuesday — at least 65 days after the proclamation — followed by a special general election also on a Tuesday, at least 65 days after the primary.

Hogan would have the option to leave the seat vacant, relieving the state from the expense of a special election. In that case, a new representative would be selected during the general election on Nov. 3, 2020, leaving Cummings’ seat empty for over a year.

Though Rockeymoore is expected to join the election campaign, the Washington Examiner sourced a political operative in saying she will likely skip a special election to grieve her loss.The Examiner also reported it is expected political leaders will clear the way for Rockeymoore in the regularly scheduled Democratic primary for the seat in April, out of respect for her and the late Cummings. 

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