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Cummings says he's leading poll in Md. Senate race

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings said Monday that a poll he has conducted shows him leading in the race to replace retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski. But he said he is still undecided about whether he will seek the seat.

"I'm still trying to figure it out," Cummings said. "Poll came back and I was running No. 1. I haven't seen a poll yet where I'm not running No. 1."

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Cummings, of Baltimore, said he has a tough decision to make about whether to run for Senate. He did not offer a timeline about when he will make a decision.

"Where I am right now, I've got quite a bit of responsibility," Cummings said, referring to his status as the ranking Democrat on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. "The Senate offers another set of responsibilities. It all boils down to where I can be most effective."

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Cummings said the poll compared him with other Democrats running for the office. A campaign spokesman for Cummings said the poll measured both name recognition and favorability. He said the poll went to registered Democrats in Maryland.

Reps. Chris Van Hollen of Montgomery County and Donna Edwards of Prince George's County are both running for the seat and a half dozen other people are considering a run.

Cummings' comments came after he, Sen. Ben Cardin, Rep. John Sarbanes and Maryland Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder met with local farmers and entrepreneurs at Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore to discuss how the federal government can better support local agriculture. The small business owners advocated for less intrusive government regulations, and more programs to incentivize farming.

lbroadwater@baltsun.com

Twitter.com/lukebroadwater

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