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Maryland governor sets date for special election to fill seat vacated by Cummings

Rep. Elijah Cummings eulogized
Rep. Elijah Cummings eulogized 01:56

Washington — Days after the funeral for Representative Elijah Cummings, Maryland's governor set the dates for the special election to replace the longtime Democratic congressman.

Republican Governor Larry Hogan issued a proclamation on Monday that orders a special primary election for the 7th Congressional District, which includes Baltimore, to be held February 4. The special general election will be April 28 — the same day as the state's presidential primary. 

Turnout for special elections is notoriously low, but putting the decision on the same ballot as the presidential primary should boost the number of voters. The governor's office said holding both elections that day will "avoid the cost and confusion of multiple and additional election days."

Candidates have from Wednesday until November 20 to enter the race.

Some expect Cummings' widow to run. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings is chair of the state's Democratic Party and has run for office before. In 2017, she sought to unseat Hogan but dropped out of the race when her husband was hospitalized.

Some have already thrown their ring in the hat. Mark Gosnell, a doctor, plans to run as a Democrat. The district is overwhelmingly Democratic, but at least one Republican — Liz Matory, a business owner and author of a book called "Born Again Republican"—announced her intentions to run. 

Other Democrats being mentioned as potential candidates, according to The Baltimore Sun, are Marilyn J. Mosby, the state's attorney in Baltimore; Calvin Ball, the Howard County executive; and Kweisi Mfume, a former president of the NAACP who previously held the seat.

Cummings died on October 17 at the age of 68. Before serving in Congress for 23 years, he was elected to the Maryland House, where he became the first black speaker pro tem of that chamber. He was chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which is one of three committees leading the impeachment inquiry against President Trump. Representative Carolyn Maloney is serving as acting chair of the committee until a permanent new leader is chosen.

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