Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, Elijah Cummings's widow, will run for his House seat

Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, the widow of the late Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsBottom line House Democrats reintroduce bill to reduce lobbyist influence Trump voters and progressives have a lot in common — and Biden can unite them MORE (D-Md.), announced Monday that she will launch a campaign to replace her husband as the representative of Maryland's 7th Congressional District. 

“I am, of course, devastated at the loss of my spouse, but his spirit is with me. 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," Rockeymoore Cummings, 48, told The Baltimore Sun in an interview about a month after her husband's death. 


Cummings, 68, died in mid-October “due to complications concerning longstanding health challenges," his office said. The longtime congressman had become a powerful figure in Washington as the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee and had played an integral part in investigations of President TrumpDonald TrumpUS, South Korea reach agreement on cost-sharing for troops Graham: Trump can make GOP bigger, stronger, or he 'could destroy it' Biden nominates female generals whose promotions were reportedly delayed under Trump MORE

Rockeymoore Cummings expressed her intention to run for her late husband's seat the same day she resigned as chairwoman of the Maryland Democratic Party. She invited supporters to gather in her home for a "special announcement" on Tuesday, according to emails obtained by The Washington Post.

Rockeymoore Cummings said that her husband wanted her to run for his Baltimore area congressional seat. 

“That was a discussion we had some months ago,” she told the Sun. “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.”

The public policy consultant and 2018 candidate for governor told the Sun she would focus on the opioid crisis, health policy, education policy and "fighting for the soul of our democracy" against Trump. 

The filing deadline for candidates for the seat is Nov. 20. The primary in the special election will be held Feb. 4, and the general special election will occur on April 28, the same day as the 2020 primary. The winner of the seat will finish out Cummings's term until January 2021.

Other candidates, including former NAACP President Kweisi Mfume and state Del. Talmadge Branch, have announced bids for the congressional seat that encompasses Baltimore and parts of Baltimore and Howard counties, according to the Sun.

"He wanted me to continue this fight, so I'm going to continue this fight and run the race and prayerfully win," Rockeymoore Cummings said on MSNBC's "The Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowJuan Williams: Hypocrisy runs riot in GOP Tim Ryan: Prosecutors reviewing video of Capitol tours given by lawmakers before riot League of Conservation Voters adds racial justice issues to 2020 congressional scorecard MORE Show" Monday.
She told Maddow that she is "prepared and ready to roll up her sleeves and address what Baltimore needs."