Special Election to Decide Cummings’ Replacement in Congress

A special election will decide who replaces Rep. Elijah Cummings in the House of Representatives.

Gov. Larry Hogan issued the order Monday to fill the 7th congressional district vacancy, created by Cummings’ death on Oct. 17.

Cummings’ second wife, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, has been rumored as a potential successor.

MarylandMatters.org offered a list of other potential candidates: former Rep. Kweisi Mfume, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby, former Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, state Sens. Jill P. Carter and Cory V. McCray, and state Dels. Vanessa Atterbeary, Talmadge Branch, Nick J. Mosby and Charles E. Sydnor III.

Cummings, who died at 68, had served in Congress since April 1996. At the time, he followed Mfume, who gave up his congressional seat to lead the NAACP. Cummings had spent 13 years in the Maryland House of Delegates before running for Mfume’s seat.

State law requires that a primary election be held at least 65 days after the governor’s proclamation is issued, and a general election be held at least 65 days after the primary.

Hogan extended the minimum duration of the election a short period to allow more time for the State Board of Elections to prepare and to ensure those serving overseas in the military can receive and return their ballots in an adequate period of time. This also provides more time for candidates to file and campaign, and for voters to engage in the process.

Key dates for the election are:

  • Oct. 30, the earliest date certificates of candidacy may be filed.
  • Nov. 20, the deadline for nomination papers to be filed
  • Nov. 22, the deadline for candidate withdrawal.
  • Feb. 4, 2020, the date of the special primary election, 76 days from the filing deadline.
  • April 28, 2020, the date of the special general election, 84 days after the special primary election. This is the same date as the state’s spring primary.

In a statement, Hogan said: “It is imperative for the 7th Congressional District to have a strong voice in the House of Representatives, and today we are ensuring the process to fill this historic Maryland seat moves forward in a fair and timely manner.”

The dates will allow for a robust campaign, he said.

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