Cummings’ daughters support former staffer instead of his widow

Two daughters of the late Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland on Tuesday endorsed their father’s former staffer Harry Spikes, instead of Cummings’ widow, in the race to fill the congressman’s seat, The Washington Post reported.

The congressman died in October and there is now a crowded race to fill his spot on Capitol Hill. Spikes, who worked as the district director for 15 years in Cummings’ Baltimore office, had announced his candidacy on Thursday. Jennifer Cummings and her sister, Adia, decided to back Spikes over Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, Cummings’ third wife, who is their stepmother.

Jennifer and Adia Cummings said on Tuesday that they are supporting Spikes because of his relationship with their father.

“My sister and I are supporting Harry Spikes for Congress because for the past 15 years he’s worked alongside our father to meet the needs of the people of the Maryland’s 7th Congressional District,” Cummings said in a statement to the Post. “Harry knows this community. Our father often said of himself that he was ‘an ordinary man called to an extraordinary mission,’ and Harry embodies that same spirit.”

Cummings’ daughters were with Spikes when he announced his candidacy, according to The Baltimore Sun. CNN reached out to Adia Cummings for comment on this story.

Spikes entered a crowded field of eight Republicans and 24 Democrats who registered by the November 20 deadline for the February 4 special election.

The election was scheduled by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan last month following Cummings’ death.

Kweisi Mfume, the former NAACP leader who represented the 7th District from 1987 to 1996, is also running, along with Democrats state Sen. Jill P. Carter and Dels. Talmadge Branch and Terri Hill, the Post reported.

Spikes, Rockeymoore Cummings and Mfume eulogized the longtime Democrat at his October 24 funeral. Former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton also made remarks.