AP PRESS RELEASE
Late congressman and civil rights activist Elijah Cummings’ grave isn’t even cold and there’s already news swirling about someone gunning for his House of Representatives seat.
It’s the nature of many businesses — especially politics — but the “who” tongues are wagging about is his younger, politically ambitious (and highly educated) widow.
Maya Rockeymoore Cummings is likely the successor to fill his congressional seat, according to a report from The Washington Examiner.
The longtime Democrat’s death — on Thursday, at age 68, caused by “longstanding health challenges” — came as a shock to many political observers.
Rockeymoore, 48, wed the longtime political lion in 2008, currently serves as the Maryland Democratic Party chairwoman and ran unsuccessfully for state governor in 2017.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has 10 days to schedule a special election for Cummings’ 7th District seat and according to political sources will likely set the date by the middle of next week.
In January, a primary election is expected to take place with the general election set for March.
The winner will serve out the remainder of Cummings’ term, which expires in December of 2020.
An unidentified political operative said Rockeymoore Cumnmings has no immediate plans to run for the seat, which remains a Democratic stronghold, and will pass on the special election.
It could be bad for “optics” — but great grist for the mill if she just went ahead and did what some think is inevitable.
But timing is everything.
Rockeymoore Cummings, a mother of three, has not commented on any speculation but the Maryland Democratic Party did release a statement on Friday asking for privacy.
“We ask the public and the press to allow Maryland Democratic Party Chair Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings — and the rest of the Cummings family — time and space to grieve their loss,” said the party, according to Patch.
A graduate of Purdue University, the Texas native is the founder of political consulting firm Global Policy Solutions. She previously served as vice president of research and programs for the Congressional Black Caucus and authored The Political Action Handbook: A How-To Guide for the Hip Hop Generation in 2004.