Thursday, 1 October 2015


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Elijah Cummings

Elijah Cummings
Elijah Cummings23.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 7th district
Assumed office
April 16, 1996
Preceded byKweisi Mfume
Member of the Maryland House of Delegates
from the 39th district
In office
January 12, 1983 – January 10, 1996
Preceded byClay Davis
Succeeded bySterling Page
Personal details
BornElijah Eugene Cummings
January 18, 1951 (age 64)
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Maya Rockeymoore
Alma materHoward University
University of Maryland, Baltimore
Elijah Eugene Cummings (born January 18, 1951) is the U.S. Representative for Maryland's 7th congressional district, serving since 1996.[1] He is a member of the Democratic Party. The district includes just over half of Baltimore City, as well as most ofHoward County. He previously served in the Maryland House of Delegates.

Early life, education and career

Cummings was born in BaltimoreMaryland, the son of Ruth and Robert Cummings.[2] He graduated with honors from Baltimore City College in 1969. He later attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he served in the student government as sophomore class president, student government treasurer and later student government president. He became a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society and graduated in 1973 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.
Cummings attended law school at the University of Maryland School of Law, graduating in 1976 and was admitted to the Maryland Bar in December 1976. He practiced law for 19 years before first being elected to the House in the 1996 elections.
For 13 years, Cummings served in the Maryland House of Delegates. In the Maryland General Assembly, he served as Chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland and was the first African American in Maryland history to be named Speaker Pro Tempore, the second highest position in the House of Delegates.

U.S. House of Representatives

Committee assignments

In December 2010 Edolphus Towns announced that he would not seek the position of Ranking Minority Member of the Oversight Committee in the next Congress, even though his seniority and service as Chair would typically result in him filling this post. Reportedly, Towns withdrew because of a lack of support from Nancy Pelosi who feared that he would not be a sufficiently aggressive leader of Democrats in an anticipated struggle with incoming committee chair Republican Darrell Issa.[3] Reportedly, the White House also wanted Towns to be replaced.[4] Cummings defeated Carolyn Maloney in a vote of the House Democratic Caucus.[3]

Caucus memberships

  • Task Force on Health Care Reform
  • Co-founder and Chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Drug Policy
Cummings is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He served as Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus during the 108th United States Congress.
Cummings received praise and a boost in notoriety following the Congressional panel hearings on steroids in March 2005. While investigating the use of steroids in sports, the panel called numerous baseball players to testify, including former single season home run record holder Mark McGwire. After McGwire answered many questions in a vague fashion, Cummings demanded to know if he was "taking the Fifth", referring to the Fifth Amendment. McGwire responded by saying, "I am here to talk about the future, not about the past." The exchange came to epitomize the entire inquiry.


On March 18, 2013, Cummings introduced the Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014 (H.R. 1233; 113th Congress), a bill that would amend federal law regarding the preservation, storage, and management of federal records.[5] One provision would require that all government employees using personal email accounts to do business copy their emails to an official government record system to be recorded and archived.[6] Cummings said "I applaud the Senate for passing this good government bill that will give the American people timely access to the records presidents create while they are in office."[7]
Cummings supported the Smart Savings Act (H.R. 4193; 113th Congress), a bill that would make the default investment in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) an age-appropriatetarget date asset allocation investment fund (L Fund) instead of the Government Securities Investment Fund (G Fund).[8] Cummings called the bill a "commonsense change" and argued that the bill "will enable workers to take full advantage of a diversified fund designed to yield higher returns".[9]
Cummings introduced the All Circuit Review Extension Act (H.R. 4197; 113th Congress), a bill that would extend for three years the authority for federal employees who appeal a judgment of the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) to file their appeal at any federal court, instead of only the U.S. Court of Appeals.[10] Cummings said that this program is important to extend because it "allows whistleblowers to file appeals where they live rather than being limited to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals".[11] He also said that the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has "an abysmal track record in whistleblower cases".[11]

Political campaigns

Five-term Congressman Kweisi Mfume resigned in February 1996 to take the presidency of the NAACP. Cummings won a crowded seven-way Democratic primary—the real contest in this heavily Democratic, black-majority district—with 37.5% of the vote. In the special election, he defeated Republican Kenneth Konder. He defeated Konder again in November to win the seat in his own right.
Cummings has been reelected nine times since then with no substantive opposition, never dropping below 65% of the vote and even running unopposed in 2006. He won a tenth full term in 2014 with 69.9% of the vote.

Electoral history

Maryland's 7th congressional district: Results 1996–2014[12][13]
1996SpecialElijah CummingsDemocratic18,87080.9%Kenneth KondnerRepublican4,44919.1%
1996GeneralElijah CummingsDemocratic115,76483.5%Kenneth KondnerRepublican22,92916.5%
1998GeneralElijah CummingsDemocratic112,69985.7%Kenneth KondnerRepublican18,74214.3%
2000GeneralElijah CummingsDemocratic134,06687.0%Kenneth KondnerRepublican19,77312.8%
2002GeneralElijah CummingsDemocratic137,04773.5%Joseph E. WardRepublican49,17226.4%
2004GeneralElijah CummingsDemocratic179,18973.4%Tony SalazarRepublican60,10224.6%Virginia RodinoGreen4,7271.9%
2006GeneralElijah CummingsDemocratic158,83098.1%Write-in Candidates3,1471.9%
2008GeneralElijah CummingsDemocratic227,37979.5%Michael HargadonRepublican53,14718.6%Ronald Owens-BeyLibertarian5,2141.8%
2010GeneralElijah CummingsDemocratic152,66975.2%Frank MirabileRepublican46,37522.8%Scott SpencerLibertarian3,8141.9%
2012GeneralElijah CummingsDemocratic247,77076.5%Frank MirabileRepublican67,40520.8%Ronald Owens-BeyLibertarian8,2112.5%
2014GeneralElijah CummingsDemocratic144,63969.9%Corrogan VaughnRepublican55,86027.0%Scott SoffenLibertarian6,1033.0%

Personal life

Cummings serves on numerous Maryland boards and commissions including the Board of Visitors (BOV) to the United States Naval Academy and the Elijah Cummings Youth Program in Israel (ECYP). He is an honorary member of the Baltimore Zoo Board of Trustees.[14]
In addition to his many speaking engagements, he writes a biweekly column for the Baltimore Afro-American newspaper. He currently lives in the Madison Park community in Baltimore, and is an active member of the New Psalmist Baptist Church.
He is married to Maya Rockeymoore.[15]
In June 2011, his nephew Christopher Cummings, son of his brother James, was murdered at his off-campus house near Old Dominion University in NorfolkVirginia, where he was a student.[16]