BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Will he or won’t he? A high stakes political waiting game is underway involving whether Congressman Elijah Cummings will give up his Congressional seat to run for Senate. He’s got just 48 hours to make up his mind.
Meghan McCorkell has more as the deadline looms.
We spoke with Congressman Cummings’ spokesperson, who says he will file before the Wednesday deadline but won’t say what he’s filing for.
A Congressman for 20 years, Cummings is often in the national spotlight and is the ranking member on the House Oversight Committee.
“Government is about the business of serving people and helping them live better lives, not hurting them,” Cummings said.
But what his future in government will be is still uncertain. The congressman has yet to announce whether he’ll run for re-election or give up his seat to run for Senate.
“I will make that decision shortly. I promise you will be the first to know it. I will call a news conference, stand before you and tell you what that decision is,” he said back in October.
But months later, there hasn’t been a news conference or a decision.
“He’s had several opportunities before to declare himself a candidate for the Senate and he pointedly has not done so,” said political analyst Matthew Crenson.
The race for Senator Barbara Mikulski’s seat is a right one, with Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards running neck and neck. A Washington Post-University of Maryland poll this fall had Cummings topping both of them with 33% of the vote.
“Even though he is a very strong candidate, it’s a little late to be starting a campaign,” Crenson said.
Still, Crenson says the waiting game plays in Cummings’ favor.
“He likes people to speculate about the possibility that he might run for the Senate because it increases his prestige in the house,” he said.
And that speculation continues.
Both Edwards and Van Hollen declared their candidacies nearly a year ago.
One possible tell-tale: Reverend Jamal Bryant dropped out of the Congressional race this fall after he said Cummings told him he would seek re-election.