With the death of Elijah Cummings, the 68-year-old former congressman and chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee—one of the three committees that have overseen Trump’s impeachment—questions of who will fill the vacancies have risen.
Alice Jackson, a political science professor at Morgan State, described him as unique and said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s job to find his replacement will be difficult.
“Everyone has been wondering what is going to happen,” Jackson said.
Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) currently serves as the acting chairwoman of the Oversight Committee.
Gov. Larry Hogan has 10 days to issue the announcement of a special primary election for the 7th Congressional District seat, which Cummings held. The primary election will be held on a Tuesday at least 65 days after Hogan’s call. A general election to fill the seat until January 2021 will take place up to 65 days after the primary election. The entire process could take up to five months.
Hogan has until the beginning of next week to set a date for the special primary election in a heavily democratic district.
“The citizens are going to have to have to vote,” Jackson said.
While it is widely assumed that Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, the former congressman’s widow, will run for the seat, Jackson is wary of the rumors.
“We really don’t know, it’s up for grabs,” Jackson said. “We’ll never get anyone like him.”
Jocelyn Daniels, a sophomore political science major briefly worked in the Rep. Elijah Cummings district office in Baltimore. As someone who witnessed his work ethic first-hand, she said it will be difficult to fill a vacancy that’s been held by the same person for more than 20 years.
“I was not close with him but I saw him as a mentor because he was one of the first blacks I saw in power and politics that I can look up to—especially him being from Baltimore,” Daniels said. “I’m not sure who is going to take his seat but I hope it’s someone who has the same strides and ideals.”
Upon Cummings’ request to lie in repose at Morgan State, the institution will house an all-day tribute to his life and legacy at the Murphy Fine Arts Center on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Attendees are urged to utilize university free parking and station their vehicles in the “Y Lot,” located adjacent from Morgan State’s Alumni House.
Classes will remain on a normal schedule. However, the decision to cancel a particular class is left to the discretion of the particular professor.
“Let us all come together and pay homage to our dear Elijah in a resounding way that is befitting of his humanity, dignity, integrity and unrelenting compassion,” President David Wilson said in an email addressed to the Morgan community on Monday.