Elijah Cummings

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Elijah Cummings
Elijah Cummings23.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 7th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
April 16, 1996
Preceded byKweisi Mfume
Member of the
Maryland House of Delegates
from the 39th District
In office
January 12, 1983 – January 10, 1996
Succeeded bySterling Page
Personal details
BornElijah Eugene Cummings
(1951-01-18) January 18, 1951 (age 63)
Baltimore, Maryland
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Dr. Maya Rockeymoore-Cummings
ResidenceBaltimore, Maryland
Alma materHoward University (B.A.)
University of Maryland School of Law (J.D.)
Occupationattorney
ReligionBaptist
SignatureElijah E. Cummings
 
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Elijah Cummings
Elijah Cummings23.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 7th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
April 16, 1996
Preceded byKweisi Mfume
Member of the
Maryland House of Delegates
from the 39th District
In office
January 12, 1983 – January 10, 1996
Succeeded bySterling Page
Personal details
BornElijah Eugene Cummings
(1951-01-18) January 18, 1951 (age 63)
Baltimore, Maryland
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Dr. Maya Rockeymoore-Cummings
ResidenceBaltimore, Maryland
Alma materHoward University (B.A.)
University of Maryland School of Law (J.D.)
Occupationattorney
ReligionBaptist
SignatureElijah E. Cummings

Elijah Eugene Cummings (born January 18, 1951) is the U.S. Representative for Maryland's 7th congressional district, serving since 1996.[1] He is a member of the Democratic Party. The district includes just over half of Baltimore City, as well as most of Howard County. He previously served in the Maryland House of Delegates.

Early life, education and career[edit]

Cummings was born in Baltimore, the son of Ruth and Robert Cummings.[2] He graduated with honors from Baltimore City College in 1969. He later attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he served in the student government as sophomore class president, student government treasurer and later student government president. He became a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society and graduated in 1973 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.

Cummings attended law school at the University of Maryland School of Law, graduating in 1976 and entering the Maryland Bar in December 1976. He practiced law for 19 years before first being elected to the House in the 1996 elections.

For 16 years, Cummings served in the Maryland House of Delegates. In the Maryland General Assembly, he served as Chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland and was the first African American in Maryland history to be named Speaker pro Tempore, the second highest position in the House of Delegates.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Rep. Cummings

Committee assignments[edit]

In December 2010 Edolphus Towns announced that he would not seek the position of Ranking Minority Member of the Oversight Committee in the next Congress, even though his seniority and service as Chair would typically result in him filling this post. Reportedly, Towns withdrew because of a lack of support from Nancy Pelosi who feared that he would not be a sufficiently aggressive leader of Democrats in an anticipated struggle with incoming committee chair Republican Darrell Issa.[3] Reportedly, the White House also wanted Towns to be replaced.[4] Cummings defeated Carolyn Maloney in a vote of the House Democratic Caucus.[3]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Cummings is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He served as Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus during the 108th United States Congress.

Cummings received praise and a boost in notoriety following the Congressional panel hearings on steroids in March 2005. While investigating the use of steroids in sports, the panel called numerous baseball players to testify, including former single season home run record holder Mark McGwire. After McGwire answered many questions in a vague fashion, Cummings demanded to know if he was "taking the Fifth", referring to the Fifth Amendment. McGwire responded by saying, "I am here to talk about the future, not about the past." The exchange came to epitomize the entire inquiry.

Political campaigns[edit]

Five-term Congressman Kweisi Mfume resigned in February 1996 to take the presidency of the NAACP. Cummings won a crowded seven-way Democratic primary—the real contest in this heavily Democratic, black-majority district—with 37.5 percent of the vote. In the special election, he defeated Republican Kenneth Konder. He defeated Konder again in November to win the seat in his own right. Cummings has been reelected seven times since then with no substantive opposition, never dropping below 70 percent of the vote and even running unopposed in 2006. He won a seventh full term in 2008 with 79.5 percent of the vote.

Electoral history[edit]

YearOfficeElectionSubjectPartyVotes%OpponentPartyVotes%OpponentPartyVotes%
1996Congress, 7th districtGeneralElijah CummingsDemocratic115,76483.47%Kenneth KondnerRepublican22,92916.53%
1998Congress, 7th districtGeneralElijah CummingsDemocratic112,69985.74%Kenneth KondnerRepublican18,74214.26%
2000Congress, 7th districtGeneralElijah CummingsDemocratic134,06687.07%Kenneth KondnerRepublican19,77312.84%
2002Congress, 7th districtGeneralElijah CummingsDemocratic137,04773.53%Joseph E. WardRepublican49,17224.61%
2004Congress, 7th districtGeneralElijah CummingsDemocratic179,18973.38%Tony SalazarRepublican60,10226.38%Virginia RodinoGreen4,7271.94%
2006Congress, 7th districtGeneralElijah CummingsDemocratic158,83098.06%Write-in Candidates3,1471.94%
2008Congress, 7th districtGeneralElijah CummingsDemocratic227,37979.50%Michael HargadonRepublican53,14718.58%

Personal life[edit]

Cummings serves on numerous Maryland boards and commissions including the Board of Visitors (BOV) to the United States Naval Academy and the Elijah Cummings Youth Program in Israel (ECYP). He is an honorary member of the Baltimore Zoo Board of Trustees.[5]

In addition to his many speaking engagements, he writes a biweekly column for the Baltimore Afro-American newspaper. He currently lives in the Madison Park community in Baltimore, and is an active member of the New Psalmist Baptist Church.

He is married to Maya Rockeymoore.[6]

In June 2011, his nephew Christopher Cummings, son of his brother James, was murdered at his off-campus house near Old Dominion University, where he was a student.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gibbs Smith. Maryland Government. Suzanne Chapelle. p. 65. 
  2. ^ "Elijah Cummings ancestry". Freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved 2012-07-15. 
  3. ^ a b Brian Beutler December 16, 2010, 5:09 PM (2010-12-16). "Pelosi Power Play Doomed Towns On Oversight Committee | TPMDC". Tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com. Retrieved 2012-07-15. 
  4. ^ "Ed Towns Steps Down; Sources Blame White House". Daily News. 
  5. ^ http://www.marylandzoo.org/board-of-trustees/
  6. ^ "Maryland District 7, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D)". National Journal. Retrieved 2011-12-13. 
  7. ^ "Sailor gunned down on sentry duty, Navy says". CNN. July 3, 2009. 

Works cited[edit]

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Kweisi Mfume
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 7th congressional district

1996–present
Incumbent
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Ed Whitfield
R-Kentucky
United States Representatives by seniority
87th
Succeeded by
Earl Blumenauer
D-Oregon