Nov. 12 (UPI) -- Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, the widow of Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, officially entered the race Tuesday to succeed her late husband in his House seat.
She said they had actually discussed the possibility of her running for the seat months ago. Rockeymoore Cummings resigned her post as chair of the Maryland Democratic Party to enter the race. The seat represents Maryland's 7th District, which includes Baltimore and its surrounding suburbs.
"I've been on this path for fighting for the soul of our democracy, for fighting for healthcare, education, for a better America for all," Rockeymoore Cummings told MSNBC Monday. "I believe very strongly that I have the background and the focus and the commitment and the ability to take the reins and make a good run for the seat."
So far, three Republicans and eight Democrats are candidates for the special election, which is scheduled for April 28. The winner will complete Cumming's term, which ends in January 2021. The deadline to file is Nov. 20.
State Sen. Cory McCray has been appointed to succeed Rockeymoore Cummings as chair of the Maryland Democratic Party. In a statement, he thanked her and reassured Democrats of the party's "stability and continuity of service."
Rockeymoore Cummings said she will undergo a pre-emptive double mastectomy Friday, but plans to keep a strong presence online during her recovery period. She said the decision for surgery was made before her husband died.
"Even though he passed away and even though this race is now before me, I decided to keep my promise to him and I will keep this appointment on Friday," she said.