'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 CummingsMaloney wins vote for Oversight chairwoman House passes stopgap as spending talks stall Stopgap government funding measure includes census money, military pay raise MORE (D-Md.), who died from health complications at 68 earlier in the morning. 

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisKamala Harris endorses Christy Smith in bid to fill Katie Hill's seat Poll: Biden holds 11-point lead over Warren in Arizona Poll: Biden and Warren are neck and neck in California 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 Jean Klobuchar2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Sanders official predicts health care, climate change will be top issues in fifth Democratic debate Key Republicans say Biden can break Washington gridlock 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 Gabbard2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Sanders reclaims second place in new 2020 poll New poll catapults Buttigieg to frontrunner position in Iowa 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 Williamson 2020 Democrats demand action on guns after Santa Clarita shooting Williamson announces poverty plan with support for universal basic income, minimum wage Yang seeks donations for 2020 rival Marianne Williamson: 'She has much more to say' 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 Anthony BookerKrystal Ball issues warning to Biden supporters Sanders official predicts health care, climate change will be top issues in fifth Democratic debate 2020 Democrats seek investigation into 'toxic culture' at NBC ahead of debate 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 Biden2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Trump calls latest impeachment hearings 'a great day for Republicans' Overnight Health Care: GOP senator says drug price action unlikely this year | House panel weighs ban on flavored e-cigs | New York sues Juul 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 Kevin DelaneyPoll: Biden holds 20-point lead in South Carolina Deval Patrick: a short runway, but potential to get airborne Delaney to take message to Iowa voters on Sunday with infomercial 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 Ann Warren2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Sanders doubles down on Bolivia 'coup,' few follow suit Overnight Health Care: GOP senator says drug price action unlikely this year | House panel weighs ban on flavored e-cigs | New York sues Juul 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.