Md. Gov. Hogan orders special election in wake of Rep. Cummings’ death

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan ordered a special election Monday to fill the 7th Congressional District vacancy left in the wake of Rep. Elijah Cummings’ Oct. 17 death.

According to state law, a primary election has to be held at least 65 days after the governor’s proclamation. And a general election has to be held at least 65 days after that.

Hogan’s office extended the minimum duration of the election to allow the state elections board to prepare, and to give troops overseas time to receive and return their ballots.

  • Certificates of candidacy may be filed beginning on Oct. 30.
  • The deadline for nomination papers to be filed is Nov. 20, and the deadline for candidate withdrawal is Nov. 22.
  • The special primary election will occur on Feb. 4, 2020, 76 days from the filing deadline.
  • The special general election will occur on April 28, 2020 — the same date as the state’s spring primary, thereby avoiding the cost and confusion of multiple and additional election days — 84 days after the special primary election.

“It is imperative for the 7th Congressional District to have a strong voice in the House of Representatives, and today, we are ensuring the process to fill this historic Maryland seat moves forward in a fair and timely manner,” Hogan said in a statement.

“We have chosen the dates for this important special election to allow for a robust campaign. Free and fair elections are the very foundation of American democracy, and we encourage the citizens of the 7th District to take part and let their voices be heard.”

Read Hogan’s proclamation at his website.

Cummings was eulogized as a leader with the fiery moral conviction of an Old Testament prophet Friday at a funeral that brought former U.S. presidents and ordinary people alike to the Baltimore church where the congressman worshiped for four decades.

He was a black sharecropper’s son, and he became a civil rights advocate who rose to power in Washington over two decades ago with his sonorous voice and powerful oratory.

Cummings died of longstanding health problems Oct. 17 at 68 years old while locked in political combat with President Donald Trump.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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