Former NAACP chief and Congressional Black Caucus chair Kweisi Mfume wins primary for Cummings seat

By Lauren Victoria Burke

NNPA Newswire Contributor

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 last October. 

Mfume’s primary challenger in Maryland’s 7th Congressional District was Cummings’ widow, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings. But the contest was not close. The general election will be held on April 28. Mfume, 71, is expected to win easily in a heavily Democratic district that includes parts of Baltimore.

Three generations of Maryland’s 7th District Congressmen; Elijah E. Cummings, 1996 to 2019; Parren J. Mitchell, 1971 to 1987; and former Kweisi Mfume, 1987 to 1996) during a 2007 Postal Service ceremony.
Photo: Office of Congressman Elijah Cummings / Wikimedia Commons

Mfume won by a decisive margin winning 43 percent of the vote to Maya Cummings’ 17 percent. 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 Feb. 4.

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

The winner of the Republican primary was Kimberly Klacik, who 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.

“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,” wrote Maya Rockeymoore Cummings on Facebook the morning after her electoral loss to Mfume.

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 @LVBurk