The Maryland Democrat passed away due to "longstanding health challenges." Tributes for him have been pouring in.
On early Thursday, October 19, morning, it was announced that Representative Elijah Cummings, a longtime Democrat for the State of Maryland, had sadly passed away. His office reported that he had died due to "complications concerning longstanding health challenges." Over the years, Cummings had become a pillar of strength for his community and many were saddened by the news. He was also admired by those on Capitol Hill, namely former President Barack Obama. Cummings was one of Obama's first supporters during his first Presidential run, so it comes as no surprise that the former President would be upset by his passing. In a heartwarming tribute, Obama honored the late Representative's life and memory, reports CNN.
Cummings was only 68 years old when he passed. In addition to representing Maryland, Cummings was also the Chairman of a House Oversight Committee working on investigations into President Donald Trump, a detail Obama mentioned in his tribute. He affirmed in his statement, "Michelle and I are heartbroken over the passing of our friend, Elijah Cummings. As Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, he showed us all not only the importance of checks and balances within our democracy, but also the necessity of good people stewarding it. Steely yet compassionate, principled yet open to new perspectives, Chairman Cummings remained steadfast in his pursuit of truth, justice, and reconciliation. It's a tribute to his native Baltimore that one of its own brought such character, tact, and resolve into the halls of power every day."
Obama also made sure to mention the immense impacts he had on his community and the thousands of Americans he inspired through his acts of civil service. "And true to the giants of progress he followed into public service, Chairman Cummings stood tallest and most resolute when our country needed him the most," he stated. "Our deepest sympathies and abiding love go to his wife, Maya, his three children, and all those whose lives he touched." Cummings definitely touched Obama's life; the Maryland Representative was one of his earliest supporters in 2007 when multiple members of the Congressional Black Caucus were backing then-opponent Hillary Clinton's campaign. Cummings had stated at the time, "People say, he's like my son or my grandson, and before I die, I'd like to have the chance to vote for someone who can win."
Clinton, too, shared a few words in his memory. Taking to social media platform Twitter, she posted, "America lost a giant with the passing of Rep. Elijah Cummings, a man of principle who championed truth, justice, and kindness. He fiercely loved his country and the people he served. Rest In Peace, my friend." Husband Bill Clinton also made a statement: "Elijah Cummings was a resounding voice of moral courage who fought the good fights for the people of Baltimore, and faithfully honored his oath to protect and defend the Constitution with a passion, skill, determination, and dignity rarely matched in our history." There is no doubt that now more than ever before, America needs politicians like Cummings to protect our democracy. Hopefully, there will be lawmakers of principle willing to step into his shoes.