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Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced in a Facebook post Tuesday morning that he will not be entering the race to replace the late U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings.

“I will not run to succeed my dear friend and mentor Congressman Elijah Cummings. I am certain our community will elect someone with the strength, energy, and dedication needed to continue his work serving the 7th district and our country,” Ball wrote in his post.

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Cummings, who had cancer, died Oct. 17 after serving more than two decades in Congress.

Candidates must file by Nov. 20 to run in the special Feb. 4 primary for Cummings’ 7th District seat, which includes areas of Howard and Baltimore counties as well as parts of the city of Baltimore. The April 28 special election will be the same day as the regular primary for all of Maryland’s U.S. House seats.

Candidates who want to fill Cummings’ seat through the rest of his term, which would end in January 2021, and win the seat for the next two years, must run in both the special and regular elections.

Ball, who has lived in the 7th District his whole life, said he was “honored to be mentioned” as a potential candidate for the upcoming special election. “However, my focus remains on my current role as your Howard County Executive,” he wrote.

Maryland Democratic Party Chairwoman Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, Cummings’ widow, announced Monday evening that she was planning to run for his seat. Rockeymoore Cummings said she will resign her post as chairwoman of the state Democratic Party to avoid any appearance of favoritism.

Other Democrats in the 7th District field include former congressman and former NAACP President Kweisi Mfume and state Del. Talmadge Branch.

Baltimore Sun reporter Luke Broadwater contributed to this article.

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