Oct 26, 2019

Son of sharecropper eulogized by presidents

The casket of Rep. Elijah Cummings is carried through National Statuary Hall on Oct. 24. Photo: Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images

Rep. Elijah Cummings was born the son of a sharecropper, and died a leader of such regard that presidents delivered eulogies at his funeral.

The impact: In Baltimore, politicians and civil rights activists joined family and friends on Friday to honor the late congressman, who became the first African-American lawmaker to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol. He died last week at the age of 68.

  • Speaker Pelosi: "As the master of the House, he was also the mentor of the House. Was anybody in here being mentored by Elijah Cummings? I think so. [Applause] ... [It] was no surprise that when we won the Congress, Elijah said: 'Send me as many freshmen as you can, because I want to help them to be oriented for them to reach their fullest potential in the House of Representatives.'"
  • President Obama: "I remember I had the pleasure of meeting Elijah's mother, Ruth, and she told me she prayed for me every day, and I knew it was true, and I felt better for it. Sometimes people say they are praying for you, and you don’t know. They might be praying about you, but you don’t know if they are praying for you. But I knew Miss Ruth was telling the truth."
  • President Clinton: "[W]e should hear him now in the quiet times at night and in the morning, when we need courage, when we get discouraged ..."
    • "When the Lord asked, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for me?,' Isaiah said, 'Here am I, Lord. Send me.' Elijah Cummings spent a whole life saying, 'Send me.' An entire lifetime. ... [T]he people of Baltimore sent him to Annapolis, and then you sent him to Washington. On behalf of the rest of the nation, I would like to thank you."
  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: "In a Congress whose culture is preoccupied with seniority and tenure, Chairman Cummings was uniquely focused on the next generation. ... He never, ever let a person go unseen."
  • Hillary Clinton: “Like the prophet, our Elijah could call down fire from heaven. But he also prayed and worked for healing."

Go deeper ... In photos: The life and work of Rep. Elijah Cummings

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Thousands gather to say goodbye to Elijah Cummings

The casket of Rep. Elijah Cummings arrives for his funeral at New Psalmist Baptist Church. Photo: Lloyd Fox-Pool/Getty Images

More than 4,000 people gathered to say goodbye to Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) on Friday, with several notable Democrats and other politicians in attendance at his memorial service at the New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore, and hundreds more lined up to pay their respects.

The big picture: Cummings, the son of a sharecropper, was an important Civil Rights era figure. He served in Congress for 23 years and, as head of the House Judiciary Committee, was one of President Trump's strongest critics. He was the first African American lawmaker to lie in state in the Capitol, an honor given to nearly 20 former senators, representatives and presidents, the Washington Post notes, per House historians.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Oct 26, 2019

Elijah Cummings' widow to run for his House seat

Maya Rockeymoore Cummings during the funeral of her husband, Rep. Elijah Cummings, in Baltimore on Oct. 25. Photo: Julio Cortez-Pool/Getty Images

Maryland Democratic Party Chairwoman Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, the widow of Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), told the Baltimore Sun Monday that she'll run for his seat in the state's 7th Congressional District.

I am, of course, devastated at the loss of my spouse, but his spirit is with me. I’m going to run this race and I’m going to run it hard, as if he’s still right here by my side."
— Maya Rockeymoore Cummings' comments to the Baltimore Sun
Go deeperArrowNov 12, 2019

Maryland governor calls special election to fill Cummings' seat

Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has called a special election for next year to fill the late Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings' 7th Congressional District seat.

The big picture: Cummings died earlier this month following long-standing health complications. He had been one of the most influential House Democrats. As chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, he was a leading figure in the impeachment inquiry against President Trump.

Go deeperArrowOct 28, 2019