Rep. Elijah Cummings’ daughters back longtime staffer to fill his term

Former Congressman's daughters choose to back Harry Spikes over their step-mother, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, for their dad's seat

WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 17: The door to the office of House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) remained closed in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill October 17, 2019 in Washington, DC. Representing Maryland’s 7th Congressional District since 1996, Cummings passed away early Thursday at the age of 68. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Jennifer and Adia Cummings, daughters of the late Rep. Elijah Cummings, are backing one of their dad’s former staff members in the race to fill the remaining term of his seat.

The two daughters are backing Harry Spikes for Maryland’s 7th Congressional District in a competitive field that includes Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, Cummings’ widow. In a statement, Jennifer said she and Adia are supporting Spikes because he was a longtime staffer and represents the future of the party, according to The Baltimore Sun.

READ MORE: Maya Rockeymoore Cummings set to run for Congress

The daughters accompanied Spikes, one of the youngest candidates running, when he declared his candidacy at North Avenue’s Umar Boxing Gym in Baltimore.

“Our father often said of himself that he was ‘an ordinary man called to an extraordinary mission,’ and Harry embodies that same spirit,” Jennifer wrote in the statement, reported The Sun.

Jennifer Cummings said Spikes “has the unique ability to build a multigenerational and diverse coalition of support.”

She said her father tried to work with freshmen members of Congress as often as possible, particularly those in his House Oversight and Reform Committee, so he could help steer them to the next level.

“Harry Spikes represents that next generation of leadership,” Jennifer Cummings wrote.

32 candidates are vying for Cummings’ seat, including four state legislators. The 7th district includes portions of Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Howard County. District voters are 68 percent Democrat and 16 percent Republican, according to The Sun.

The most high profile candidates running include Spikes, Rockeymoore Cummings and former NAACP President Kweisi Mfume, a former congressman from the 7th district who vacated the seat to lead the NAACP in 1996.

READ MORE: Rep. Elijah Cummings: Politicians and celebrities react to sudden death of Baltimore congressman

Rockeymoore Cummings, who is the former chairwoman of the Maryland Democratic Party, and Cummings married in 2008.

Cummings died on Oct. 17 from thymic carcinoma, a rare form of cancer. He was 68.

The primary is set for Feb. 4 and the general election will be held on April 28.