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'We lost a giant': 2020 Democrats mourn the death of Elijah Cummings

Democratic presidential candidates took to Twitter on Thursday to mourn the loss of longtime Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsVoters elected a record number of Black women to Congress this year — none were Republican Democrats were united on top issues this Congress — but will it hold? 'Kamala' and 'Kobe' surge in popularity among baby names MORE (D-Md.), who died from health complications at 68 earlier in the morning. 

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisWho will replace Harris in Senate? 'Rising' discusses Wisconsin formally declares Biden won election following recount Moderate Democrats: Everyone's older siblings MORE (D-Calif.) was the first candidate to issue a statement on the House Oversight and Reform Committee chairman's passing, calling Cummings a “giant” in an early morning tweet.

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“Congressman Elijah Cummings was a fearless leader, a protector of democracy, and a fighter for the people of Maryland. Our world is dimmer without him in it,” Harris tweeted.

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: YouTube suspends OANN amid lawmaker pressure | Dems probe Facebook, Twitter over Georgia runoff | FCC reaffirms ZTE's national security risk Democrats urge YouTube to remove election misinformation, step up efforts ahead of Georgia runoff YouTube temporarily suspends OANN account after spreading coronavirus misinformation MORE (D-Minn.) described Cummings as “a lion.”

“But he was also so kind, including to brand new senators like me a decade ago. His advice was as true as his love for his country,” she continued.

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardSix people whose election wins made history Next Congress expected to have record diversity Native Americans elected to Congress in record numbers this year MORE (D-Hawaii) tweeted that she was “very sad” by the news of Cummings’s passing and offered condolences to the Maryland Democrat’s family.

“My heart goes out to the Cummings family during this difficult time,” Gabbard wrote. “Elijah Cummings dedicated his life to service and will truly be missed.”

Author Marianne WilliamsonMarianne WilliamsonMarianne Williamson discusses America's "soulless ethos" Marianne Williamson discusses speaking at People's Party Convention Fewer people watched opening night of Democratic convention compared to 2016 MORE said the congressman was “someone whose presence lifted all of us to a better place.”

“The example of both his personhood and his politics blazed a trail for the rest of us to follow. May he Rest In Peace, and in his honor may we carry on,” Williamson continued.

Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerBiden budget pick sparks battle with GOP Senate Policy center calls for new lawmakers to make diverse hires Dangerously fast slaughter speeds are putting animals, people at greater risk during COVID-19 crisis MORE (D-N.J.) said in a statement that he was "profoundly saddened by the passing of my friend, colleague, and role model Congressman Cummings."

"He was a dedicated public servant who fought every day for the people of Baltimore and set the standard for moral leadership in our country. His love of country was evident as a defender of our democracy and a tireless advocate for freedom, equality, and justice," Booker added. "Congressman Cummings was a man of principle and courage and it was an honor and a privilege to serve alongside him in Congress. My condolences to his family, friends, staff, and admirers. May this American hero rest in peace."

"We are struck this morning to hear the news about the passing of Congressman Elijah Cummings," former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro tweeted on Thursday morning. "His death is a tragedy not just for the city of Baltimore, but for our entire nation, and for all of those who fight for justice."

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenGeraldo Rivera on Trump sowing election result doubts: 'Enough is enough now' Senate approves two energy regulators, completing panel Murkowski: Trump should concede White House race MORE said in a statement that Cummings “knew the fights that needed a champion, and he never hesitated to jump into the fray.” 

“He was a true public servant, his life defined by the love of his community and a fierce commitment to ensuring truth wins over power,” Biden continued. “Whether facing a hail of bottles and insults as a young man marching to integrate a swimming pool or giving voice to the frustrations of so many communities demanding to be treated with dignity, or rushing to calm the city’s streets, bullhorn in hand, after the funeral of Freddie Gray, Elijah’s life of action was synonymous with the history and progress of modern Baltimore.”

Former Rep. John DelaneyJohn DelaneyCoronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Rep. Rodney Davis Eurasia Group founder Ian Bremmer says Trump right on China but wrong on WHO; CDC issues new guidance for large gatherings The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says country needs to rethink what 'policing' means; US cases surpass 2 million with no end to pandemic in sight MORE (Md.) said he and his wife, April, are “heartbroken about the loss of our good friend Elijah Cummings.” 

“We loved everything about him - he was a man of character, intelligence, kindness and grace. Our nation has lost one of our truly great leaders. We pray for him, for the wonderful Maya and his family," he added.

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenBiden budget pick sparks battle with GOP Senate Warren, Brown voice support for controversial Biden budget office pick Biden's economic team gets mixed reviews from Senate Republicans MORE (D-Mass.) described Cummings as a “giant in the House, an unwavering champion for his district and all Americans, and a dear friend.” 

“Good people everywhere will miss his rumbling voice, his kind heart, and his deep conviction that every human being has worth,” Warren added. “Rest in power, Elijah.”

Cummings’s office said the lawmaker died at 2:30 a.m. at Gilchrist Hospice Care from “complications concerning longstanding health challenges.”

Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, the widow of the late congressman, issued a statement saying that he “worked until his last breath.” 

“Congressman Cummings was an honorable man who proudly served his district and the nation with dignity, integrity, compassion and humility. He worked until his last breath because he believed our democracy was the highest and best expression of our collective humanity and that our nation’s diversity was our promise, not our problem,” Rockeymoore Cummings, the chairwoman of the Maryland Democratic Party, said.

“It’s been an honor to walk by his side on this incredible journey. I loved him deeply and will miss him dearly,” she added.

— This report was updated at 8:26 a.m.