BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Kweisi Mfume is running to reclaim Elijah Cummings’ 7th Congressional District seat, he announced Monday.
“A month ago I never imagined that I would be before you in this capacity, a month ago, my dear friend Elijah was alive and well,” Mfume said in an announcement at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum.
Cummings replaced Mfume in Congress in 1996, but now Mfume is running for his old seat to fill Cummings’ shoes.
“I wore those shoes for 10 years. They still fit comfortably, by the way. It’s just a matter of putting them back on again,” He said.
Gov. Hogan announced the special primary election to fill Cummings’ seat will be February 4, 2020, with the general election coinciding with the presidential primary election in April.
Mfume said he intends to run for the seat full-time.
“In terms of being ready, I’m ready on Day 1,” Mfume said.
Mfume left Congress in 1996 to become the President of the NAACP. In that position, he admitted to having an affair with a staff member.
On Monday, he acknowledged that it was not right.
“There was nothing vile about it. There was nothing illegal about it. But, because we work together, I shouldn’t have done it. And, I said, it was a boneheaded mistake,” Mfume said.
He last ran for office in 2006, when he lost to now Senator Ben Cardin in a Democratic primary for the seat.
This time around, State Senator Jill Carter has already announced she has considered running, and there are rumors Cummings’ widow Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings may join the race as well.
“We have not sat down and plotted or planned. We have had discussions,” Mfume said.
Notably, Maryland does not currently have any women in its congressional delegation.
Mfume, meanwhile, has not officially filed. He has no website up, or a campaign treasurer.
In this condensed election timeline, candidates have until November 20 to file in the special election.