‘A Man of Principle, Unity, Dignity, Compassion’: Maryland Leaders Mourn Death of Rep. Elijah Cummings

Councilmember Craig Rice and Rep. Elijah Cummings | Rice’s Twitter feed

Rep. Elijah Cummings is being remembered for his devotion to civil rights, Maryland and Baltimore.

He died early Thursday morning at Johns Hopkins Hospital from complications of health ailments. He was 68.

Cummings served 22 years in the U.S. Congress after serving 13 years in the House of Delegates, rising to be Speaker Pro Tem.

Rep. Jamie Raskin released this statement:

It is hard to measure the enormity of the loss we have just suffered. Elijah was the beloved favorite son of Maryland and the prophetic voice of moral integrity and social rebuilding that America needs so desperately.

It is hard to imagine going on in these hard days without his passion, his decency and his brilliance, but he would be the first to tell us that we must not waver and we must not falter.

For Elijah, it was always about the children—the messengers we send to a future we won’t see. So we must redouble and expand our work in his honor. I will miss him every day.

Here’s what Sen. Cardin said on Twitter (follow the thread):

And here’s what Cardin’s colleague, Sen. Chris Van Hollen said:

Gov. Larry Hogan issued this statement:

We are deeply saddened by the passing of Congressman Elijah Cummings, who was a fierce advocate for civil rights and for Maryland for more than three decades.

Congressman Cummings leaves behind an incredible legacy of fighting for Baltimore City and working to improve people’s lives. He was a passionate and dedicated public servant whose countless contributions made our state and our country better.

Maryland’s First Lady and I ask Marylanders to join us in praying for his loved ones, his constituents, and his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives.

And from Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford:

Congressman Elijah Cummings was a dedicated public servant for 36 years, a trailblazer who was unafraid to speak up for what he believed in and the people he represented. His passing will undoubtedly be felt by the people of Baltimore and by people all across our state and nation.

It is times like these that we put politics aside and remember a man who deeply cared for the City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland. My wife Monica and I, and our entire family, join with many others in praying for Rep. Cummings’ friends and family, especially his wife Maya, that they find comfort in his legacy during this difficult time. May he Rest In Peace.”

Comptroller Peter Franchot offered this statement:

Today, the nation awoke to the news of the unexpected passing of Congressman Elijah Cummings. Mr. Cummings was a legendary son of Baltimore. An extraordinary Marylander. A great and historically consequential American and he will be missed.

There are so many ways to describe this remarkable man who grew up in the most modest of circumstances, rose to once-unimaginable heights of political power, and never, ever stopped fighting to give others the very same opportunities he had. In the days to come, we will assemble our thoughts and do the best we can to do justice to the life and golden legacy of Elijah Cummings.

Today, however, I’ll simply say that we’ve lost our friend at a time when our city, state and country needs his voice and his moral clarity more than ever before. There will never be another Elijah Cummings. For the good of our embattled nation, however, and for the countless children and families who would have long been forgotten if not for Elijah’s good fight, we must try so much harder to live up to the values that defined his life.

Most recently, Cummings was the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, one of the committees that is overseeing the impeachment proceedings of President Trump. Trump’s Twitter feed wrote this about Cummings:

My warmest condolences to the family and many friends of Congressman Elijah Cummings. I got to see first hand the strength, passion and wisdom of this highly respected political leader. His work and voice on so many fronts will be very hard, if not impossible, to replace!


Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich released this statement:

I am deeply saddened by the passing of a great humanitarian. In this difficult time, my deepest sympathy goes out to his wife Maya, their family, friends, and the millions of others whose lives he impacted through his decades of selfless and indefatigable civil service. This is a tremendous loss for our state and the nation.

And Montgomery County Council President Nancy Navarro offered this statement:

The Montgomery County Council sends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Congressman Elijah Cummings. The people of Maryland have lost a fearless fighter for human rights and social justice. His integrity and unwavering leadership made our government and state stronger. Beloved by his constituents and all who had the honor of knowing him, we mourn his memory thinking about the difference he made in the lives of so many.

Rep. John Sarbanes, who served on the Oversight Committee, released the following statement:

We have lost a giant.

Elijah Cummings was a fighter, a committed public servant and a patriot in every sense of the word. He represented the best of our nation.

Throughout his time in the public arena, Elijah worked tirelessly to bring better education, economic opportunity, health care and hope to the City of Baltimore, to Maryland and to the entire country. In Congress, he fought to uphold the Constitution, safeguard our democracy, protect the sacred right to vote, and hold the powerful accountable to the American people.

I am heartbroken by Elijah‘s passing. He was a dear friend and a trusted mentor. I want to extend my deepest condolences to Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, the entire Cummings family and all those fortunate enough to have known Elijah and be touched by his public service.

We will miss him deeply, but we can keep his memory alive and follow the example he set by continuing to fight for justice and by working every single day to make life better for our fellow Americans.

Maryland Citizens Health Initiative President Vinnie DeMarco, who has helped to shepherd several pieces of health legislation through the General Assembly, wrote this:

No one has done more to advance public health and health care coverage for Marylanders and all Americans than Representative Elijah Cummings. We will do our best to learn from what he taught us and achieve his goal of quality, affordable health care for all.

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