No one will ever take the place of Elijah Cummings, may his name be for blessing. He was a giant, gone far too soon. He was my congressman for more than a decade, and I remember so clearly when he addressed Michael Cohen after his congressional testimony:

Let me tell you the picture that really, really pained me. You were leaving the prison, you were leaving the courthouse, and, I guess it's your daughter, had braces or something on. Man that thing, man that thing hurt me. As a father of two daughters, it hurt me. And I can imagine how it must feel for you. But I'm just saying to you — I want to first of all thank you. I know that this has been hard. I know that you've faced a lot. I know that you are worried about your family. But this is a part of your destiny. And hopefully this portion of your destiny will lead to a better, a better, a better Michael Cohen, a better Donald Trump, a better United States of America, and a better world. And I mean that from the depths of my heart.

When we're dancing with the angels, the question we'll be asked: In 2019, what did we do to make sure we kept our democracy intact? Did we stand on the sidelines and say nothing?

I think about this a lot. I don't know where we go from here as a country, I don't know how we climb out of this pit of rage and hate. The path will be steeper without Congressman Cummings.

But we do have to keep climbing, and yesterday was the special election to fill Cummings's open House seat in West Baltimore and the surrounding suburbs.

It was a packed field, with dozens of candidates, including prominent state Senator Jill Carter and Cummings's widow, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings. But the overwhelming Democratic winner was former congressman Kweisi Mfume, who held Cummings's seat (the district has since been redrawn) between 1987 and 1996. Mfume chaired the Congressional Black Caucus and led the NAACP as its president.

On the GOP side, Republican Central Committee member Kimberly Klacik was the clear winner, despite not actually living in the Seventh district. She promises to move there, though, if elected.

Remember that godawful woman who filmed trash in Baltimore's alleys and fed it to Fox News so that those garbage merchants could say that Trump's attacks on Cummings weren't racist at all? Yep, that's Kimberly Klacik.

Yes, it's totally normal to call the second wealthiest majority-black district in the country "a disgusting rat and rodent infested mess." Right, Ms. Klacik?


It's a disgraceful insult to Cummings's memory that Klacik is running for his seat. But don't worry too much, since the district has approximately six Democrats for every Republican. With a whopping 4,385 votes, Klacik won 41 percent of Republican voters. In contrast, Mfume's 29,260 votes netted him a 43 percent share of Democrats. And math ... is just math.

The general election to fill out the remainder of Cummings's term will be on April 28. That's also the primary date for the November election to the next Congress. Presumably, Mfume and Klacik will emerge victorious from that election, too. But in case something should damage Mfume's prospects, Maya Rockeymore Cummings and Jill Carter are both running in that primary as well, and each of them doubled Klacik's vote tally last night. Cummings's seat is safe, thank heaven.

So congratulations to Mr. Mfume. And thank you to Congressman Cummings, who is no doubt dancing with the angels. He did so much to keep our democracy intact. We owe it to him to keep fighting.

[Baltimore Sun]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.


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