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Field Of Candidates Hoping To Replace Rep. Elijah Cummings Grows

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The field of candidates hoping to fill the late Rep. Elijah Cummings' congressional seat continues to grow after an announcement over the weekend from Republican activist Kimberly Klacik that she will run.

Klacik is hoping to score a major upset coming off a media whirlwind this summer; President Trump tweeted her photos of problems in west Baltimore, which is in the 7th District Cummings served, sparking a back-and-forth between Cummings, Trump and numerous local and state officials.

Now, Klacik said she's throwing her hat into the ring to represent the district.

"The exploratory team came back. We're in. We're doing it. We're filing," she said during an appearance on Fox News.

Klacik stayed in the headlines when she went to Cummings' home to try to confront him.

"A lot of people said, 'Are you crazy? I can't believe you're getting in this.' But I'm the type of person, I'm going to knock on every door. I'm going to shake every hand," she said.

Still, out of all Maryland congressional races last election, the 7th District is deep blue. In 2018, Cummings beat his Republican opponent by more than 5 points.

"The likelihood that a Republican will be able to win that seat is vanishingly slim," Johns Hopkins University political scientist Matthew Crenson said.

On the Democratic side, former 7th District Rep. Kwiesi Mfume announced a run last week. State Sen. Jill Carter and Del. Talmadge Branch have also said they're running.

Cummings' widow and Maryland Democratic Party Chair Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings has said she's weighing a run and has a special announcement planned for Tuesday.

As of Monday afternoon, three Republicans and eight Democrats have officially filed for the special election ahead of the deadline a week from Wednesday.

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