Former NAACP Chief/Congressional Black Caucus Chair Kweisi Mfume wins primary for Cummings seat

Three generations of Maryland’s 7th District Congressmen (Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, 1996 to present; former Rep. Parren J. Mitchell, 1971 to 1987; and former Rep. Kweisi Mfume, 1987 to 1996) attend the ceremony officially designating the facility of the U.S. Postal Service located at 6101 Liberty Road in Baltimore, Maryland, as the ‘U.S. Rep. Parren J. Mitchell Post Office’ [January 2007]. (photo courtesy of the Office of U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings/Wikimedia Commons)

Former NAACP President and five-term Congressman Kweisi Mfume won big in a Democratic primary contest to replace the late Congressman Elijah Cummings who passed away on October 17, 2019 at the age of 68.

Mfume’s primary challenger in Maryland’s seventh congressional district was Cummings’ widow, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings. But the contest was not close. The general election will be held on April 28, 2020. Mfume, 71, will be expected to win easily in a heavily Democratic district that includes parts of Baltimore.

Mfume won by a decisive margin winning 43% of the vote to Maya Cummings’ 17%. Over 28,000 voted for Mfume as Cummings received over 11,000 votes in a field of 12 candidates.

Mfume left the U.S. House in 1996 to lead the NAACP and stayed in the position until 2004.

“I accept your nomination as the Democratic nominee to Congress! Experience matters,” said Mfume from his victory party on the night of February 4.

“This is for him. This is for him!” said Mfume. The two had been friends for 42 years and Mfume delivered a moving eulogy to Elijah Cummings at his funeral last year.

The winner of the Republican primary was Kimberly Klacik, whose produced a video of trash in West Baltimore last summer. The video prompted Trump to call Cummings’s district a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.” Klacik is a member of the Baltimore County Republican Central Committee in Baltimore.

Maya Rockeymoore Cummings wrote on facebook the morning after her electoral loss to Mfume: “Thank you to the voters of Maryland’s 7th Congressional District for your consideration and to the other candidates for your valiant and inspiring races. I also thank my team, including the hardworking volunteers who dedicated many hours to the campaign. Putting my hat in the ring was a faith walk, a journey I am still on. I deeply appreciate the well wishes and encouragement and look forward to what comes next.”

Cummings can challenge Mfume again on April 28. It is likely that Mfume will be favored to win, given his strong primary showing.

(Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist for NNPA and the host of the podcast BURKEFILE. She is also a political strategist as Principal of Win Digital Media LLC. She may be contacted at <> and on twitter at @LVBurke).