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Adia Cummings, right, and Jennifer Cummings, daughters of the late Rep. Elijah Cummings, have endorsed his former staffer Harry Spikes for his congressional seat.
Adia Cummings, right, and Jennifer Cummings, daughters of the late Rep. Elijah Cummings, have endorsed his former staffer Harry Spikes for his congressional seat. (Julio Cortez / AP)

The late Rep. Elijah Cummings’ daughters are supporting one of the congressman’s longtime staffers in the crowded race for his seat — a race that also includes Cummings’ widow and nearly three dozen others.

His oldest daughter, Jennifer, wrote in a statement that she and her sister, Adia, are endorsing Harry Spikes to represent Maryland’s 7th Congressional District.

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”Our father often said of himself that he was ‘an ordinary man called to an extraordinary mission,’ and Harry embodies that same spirit," she wrote in a statement.

The two women appeared alongside Spikes last week when he formally announced his candidacy at the Umar Boxing Gym on North Avenue in Baltimore.

Jennifer Cummings said Spikes, who is among the younger candidates in the race, “has the unique ability to build a multigenerational and diverse coalition of support.”

After a long career fighting for civil rights, Cummings rose to the chairmanship of the House Oversight and Reform Committee and gained national prominence for his clashes with President Donald Trump as he pursued an impeachment inquiry.

It was her father’s wish, Jennifer Cummings said, to get as many freshmen members of Congress assigned to his committee as possible so he could prepare the next generation to lead.

”Harry Spikes represents that next generation of leadership," Jennifer Cummings wrote.

The lure of a vacant seat in Congress has attracted a wide array of candidates. Three of the most high-profile people seeking to succeed Cummings also eulogized him at his funeral: Spikes; former NAACP President Kweisi Mfume, who represented the 7th District before Cummings did; and Cummings’ widow, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings.

Rockeymoore Cummings, former Maryland Democratic Party chairwoman, married Cummings in 2008.

The primary is scheduled for Feb. 4 with a general election April 28 to fill the rest of Cummings’ term.

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