Elijah Cummings' Replacement Has Been Elected

Kweisi Mfume wins over GOPer Kimberly Klacik for 7th Congressional District seat in Maryland
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2020 7:22 AM CDT
Elijah Cummings' Replacement Has Been Elected
Democrat Kweisi Mfume speaks to reporters in Baltimore during an election night news conference after he won the 7th Congressional District special election on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

It was a race in Maryland "dramatically reshaped by the coronavirus pandemic," and one man has easily emerged victorious, per NBC News. Democrat Kweisi Mfume, 71, who was the head of the NAACP for nearly nine years, defeated Republican Kimberly Klacik in a special election held Tuesday to fill the 7th Congressional District seat left vacant by the late Rep. Elijah Cummings, who died in October. It won't be the first time for Mfume in this role: Cummings replaced him when Mfume left for the NAACP in 1996 after serving five terms in the House of Representatives. Among the competitors Mfume beat out, per the New York Times: Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, Elijah Cummings' widow.

Mfume ran on a platform of stronger gun-safety measures and health care, among other issues. The Maryland election was one in which constituents were highly encouraged to send in their votes by mail, especially after the hubbub that took place in Wisconsin, where voters waited for hours to cast ballots amid the pandemic. Mfume wore a mask on election night, as did his wife and other supporters, the AP reports. "I want all of you to know that from day one, all of my attention, all of my energy, and all of my focus in the United States Congress will be on using science, data, and common sense to help get our nation through this dark hour in our history," he said. Mfume will serve in the seat at least through January; he'll run in Maryland's June 2 primary for a chance to be the nominee for a full term. (Read more Elijah Cummings stories.)

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