Rep. Elijah Cummings hospitalized, wife Maya Rockeymoore Cummings drops out of Maryland governor race

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Maya Rockeymoore Cummings suspended her campaign Friday “due to personal considerations.”

Later in the day, Baltimore Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, her husband, announced that he has been hospitalized for the past week in the latest in a string of health setbacks.

The emailed statement from the Rockeymoore Cummings campaign did not elaborate on why she dropped out of the crowded primary race for governor, and the campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

The congressman’s office declined to answer a question about whether his health was related to his wife’s political decisions, or when he would return to Capitol Hill.

Cummings was hospitalized Dec. 29 for what his office said was a bacterial infection in his knee. He underwent what aides called a “minor procedure” at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Aides could not say when he would be released.

Cummings, 66, missed several months of work last year after complications from a minimally invasive heart surgery in mid-May. The congressman told The Baltimore Sun over the summer that an infection prolonged his recovery.

Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, returned to Washington in September following his initial recovery and, while slimmer, kept a robust schedule. He spoke with The Baltimore Sun the week before the House adjourned for its Christmas break.

Rockeymoore Cummings, a public policy consultant, was the last of eight Democrats running for governor to declare her candidacy and the first to drop out of the contest.

In October, she gained the potentially lucrative endorsement of the national political group Emily’s List, which works to elect female candidates.

Rockeymoore Cummings has worked in and around politics for decades but was a first-time candidate.

Her decision to drop out of the race comes weeks before a crucial fundraising reporting deadline that will reveal how much the Democrats seeking the nomination have raised in the past year.

Incumbent Republican Gov. Larry Hogan already has a sizable campaign treasury. Last year, he had $5 million on hand for the race.

Rockeymoore Cummings did not mention fundraising or other factors in her decision to suspend her campaign.

“I thank all of the people across the country who have supported my campaign and those whom I have met on the campaign trail who also fervently believe that we can and must do better for the people of Maryland,” her statement said.

Cummings’ congressional office released a brief statement about his health five hours later.

“Doctors drained the infection in a minor procedure today,” it said. “He is resting comfortably and expects a full recovery.”

ecox@baltsun.com

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