Special Election Tuesday: Maryland’s 7th Congressional District race

Maya Rockeymoore Cummings
In this Jan. 27, 2020 photo, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, who is running for her late husband’s congressional seat in a special primary in Maryland, speaks at a news conference in Baltimore, Md. (AP Photo/Brian Witte)

Maryland residents who live in the 7th Congressional District have a choice to make.

They’ll be voting in a special primary election to fill the seat of U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, who died last October. The district includes Baltimore City and parts of Baltimore and Howard counties.

The Democratic primary is packed with hopefuls. There are 24 candidates running, including Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, who is the wife of the late Cummings. She is also the former state Democratic Party chairwoman.

Rockeymoore Cummings is not the only one running with a connection to the late congressman. Cummings’ former chief of staff, Harry Spikes, is also running for the seat.

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Three Maryland state lawmakers are running for the 7th District seat as well: Del. Talmadge Branch, Sen. Jill Carter and Del. Jay Jalisi are hoping to take over the remainder of Cummings’ two-year term.

Kweisi Mfume, who held the 7th District Congressional seat from 1987-1996, is running for his old job. Mfume also served as the president of the NAACP for nine years.

The Republican primary features eight candidates, including Liz Matory, who ran as the GOP nominee in the 2nd District Congressional seat in 2018 against incumbent U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, a Democrat.

Republican Kimberly Klacik is also running. Like Matory, she doesn’t currently live in the 7th District. Both candidates have said that, if elected, they would move to the district they would serve.

The winners of Tuesday’s special election will go on to the special general election April 28.

But the contests won’t end then: The “regular” general election will be held in November to serve a full term from 2021 to January 2023.

If you’re voting in the election, go to your regular polling place. There is no early voting, so don’t go to an early voting center expecting to cast your ballot. Find your polling place here.

Take a look at sample ballots here:

Under Maryland law, there is now same-day voting, but you’ll need to bring proof of residency: a license, state-issued ID, utility bill or bank statement, as long as it shows your name and address.

Polls open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Anyone standing in line at 8 p.m. will be allowed to vote.

There are times when you may be asked to provide ID, although it’s not required to vote. If you are asked for ID but don’t have it, you can still vote on a provisional ballot. Provisional ballots are counted as long as your registration can be verified.

For more information about the 7th Congressional District, visit Maryland’s website here.

Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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