Politics: Elijah Cummings's widow Maya Rockeymoore expected to run for his House seat

Rep. Elijah Cummings, Democratic leader and regular Trump target, dies at 68

  Rep. Elijah Cummings, Democratic leader and regular Trump target, dies at 68 Rep. Elijah Cummings chaired the powerful House Oversight and Reform Committee and helped lead the House impeachment inquiry into President Trump.After undergoing an unspecified medical procedure, the Democratic leader did not return to his office this week, the Baltimore Sun reported. A statement from his office said that he had passed away due to “complications concerning longstanding health challenges.

Rep. Elijah Cummings’s widow, Maya Rockeymoore, is seen as the most likely successor to fill his congressional seat after his passing on Thursday, sources tell the Washington Examiner.

Maya Rockeymoore, Elijah Cummings are posing for a picture: Rep. Elijah Cummings and his wife, Maya Rockeymoore, are shown on Capitol Hill in 2015. © Provided by MediaDC: Washington Newspaper Publishing Company, Inc. Rep. Elijah Cummings and his wife, Maya Rockeymoore, are shown on Capitol Hill in 2015.

Rockeymoore, 48, who is currently the chair of the Maryland Democratic Party, has a history of political involvement and ran unsuccessfully for Maryland governor in 2017. She married Cummings in 2008.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has 10 days to schedule a special election for Cummings’s seat and will likely set the date by the middle of next week, according to state political sources. The primary election is expected to take place next January and the general election in March.

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle mourn Cummings

  Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle mourn Cummings Congressional Democrats and Republicans are taking to social media to share their condolences.Congressman Elijah Cummings speaks at the grand opening of the McCullough Street Nature Play Space in West Baltimore on Aug. 3. Cummings had invited President Donald Trump and other Americans to Baltimore, taking the high road after a barrage of presidential tweets disparaging the black-majority city and its long-serving Democratic congressman.

The winner of the special election will serve out of the remainder of Cummings’s term, which expires in December of 2020. A regularly scheduled primary for the following term will take place next April.

Rockeymoore has not yet addressed the speculation that she will run for her husband’s seat. The Maryland Democratic Party released a statement on Friday asking for privacy for Rockeymoore and indicating that she would not be making any political announcements for the time being.

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“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.

What Elijah Cummings' death means for impeachment

  What Elijah Cummings' death means for impeachment The passing of House Oversight  Chairman Elijah Cummings leaves a vacancy in the leadership of the congressional impeachment inquiry.Cummings, of Maryland, passed away early Thursday “due to complications concerning longstanding health challenges,” his office said in a statement. The late congressman had been in poor health over the past few years, navigating the Capitol in a motorized cart and with a walker.

One political operative said Rockeymoore is not planning to run for the seat immediately as she takes time to grieve the loss of her husband.

“Word is that Maya Rockeymoore will pass on the special election,” a long-time Maryland operative told the Washington Examiner.

But sources do expect Rockeymoore to run in the previously scheduled election for the seat in April and believe other potential candidates will make room for her out of respect for her and her late husband. Another prominent Maryland Democrat, former NAACP president Ben Jealous, said on Friday that he does not plan to run for the seat.

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If Rockeymoore does run, critics are likely to seize on financial irregularities involving her charity and consulting firm that led one watchdog group to file an IRS complaint against her earlier this year. Rockeymoore’s nonprofit group, the Center for Global Policy Solutions, received millions from special interest groups and corporations that had business before her husband’s committee, the Washington Examiner first reported in May.

Her nonprofit group and similarly-named consulting firm, Global Policy Solutions LLC, also had overlapping finances and operations that could have been used to derive "illegal private benefit,” according to an IRS complaint filed by the National Legal and Policy Center.

As chair of the Maryland Democratic Party, Rockeymoore will also play a powerful role in deciding whom the party supports in the special election — and could ensure that the party backs a place-holder candidate who would be willing to step aside if and when Rockeymoore decides to run in the spring.

Rockeymoore "has a lot of control over who the placeholder is,” said the Maryland operative, who said one name that has been floated is former Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Mourners pay respects to Cummings during wake before funeral .
he body of congressman and civil rights champion Elijah Cummings returned Friday to the church where he worshipped in his beloved Baltimore for a final farewell. Former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton are among the scheduled speakers for the funeral Friday at New Psalmist Baptist Church, where Cummings worshipped for nearly four decades. His bishop, Walter S. Thomas Jr., will deliver the eulogy.Cummings' flag-draped casket arrived at the church shortly after 6 a.m.

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