Repub­li­can plans run for Dem’s seat

She sparked Trump’s crit­i­cism of Eli­jah Cum­mings, Bal­ti­more

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - NEWS - By Luke Broad­wa­ter

The Bal­ti­more County Repub­li­can of­fi­cial whose so­cial me­dia posts about trash in West Bal­ti­more prompted Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump to ver­bally at­tack the late Rep. Eli­jah Cum­mings says she’s run­ning for Cum­mings’ for­mer seat in Congress.

Kim­berly Klacik, 37, who runs a non­profit and is a mem­ber of a county Repub­li­can Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, said she will file next week for the spe­cial elec­tion in the 7th Con­gres­sional District, a seat Cum­mings held for more than two decades.

Cum­mings, who had can­cer, died Oct. 17.

“I am throw­ing my hat in the race for the 7th Con­gres­sional District,” Klacik said in an in­ter­view. “I’ve seen first­hand what a lot of peo­ple are go­ing through. Our vi­o­lent crime is up 52% in Bal­ti­more County and it’s ris­ing in Bal­ti­more City, too. I don’t think it’s a co­in­ci­dence.”

Klacik lives in Mid­dle River, which is not in the 7th District, but she said she’ll move to West Bal­ti­more if elected. The law only re­quires a con­gres­sional can­di­date to live in the state; they do not need to live in the district they seek to rep­re­sent.

Klacik gained at­ten­tion in July when she posted videos to so­cial me­dia of blight and trash in West

Bal­ti­more. Her post­ings caught the eye of Fox News, which showed them, and then Trump, who launched a blis­ter­ing at­tack against Cum­mings. That kicked off a week­long war of words be­tween the Repub­li­can pres­i­dent and boost­ers of deep blue Bal­ti­more.

She has par­tic­i­pated in sev­eral cleanup events in the district since then.

“Talk­ing to res­i­dents about rats and in­fra­struc­ture and va­cant homes, there’s so much that can be done,” Klacik said.

Three Repub­li­can can­di­dates have al­ready filed for the spe­cial elec­tion to fill the seat, in­clud­ing Liz Ma­tory, who in 2018 sought the 2nd Con­gres­sional District seat held by C.A. Dutch Rup­pers­berger.

Repub­li­can Chris An­der­son said he would an­nounce the start of his cam­paign Mon­day in Bal­ti­more.

The district’s vot­ers are 68% Demo­cratic, with just 16% Repub­li­can vot­ers and the rest un­af­fil­i­ated or be­long­ing to third par­ties, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult for any can­di­date who is not a Demo­crat to win the seat.

On the Demo­cratic side, for­mer con­gress­man and NAACP Pres­i­dent Kweisi Mfume and state Del. Tal­madge Branch have an­nounced cam­paigns for the of­fice. State Sen. Jill P. Carter has formed an ex­ploratory com­mit­tee and is hold­ing fundrais­ing events. Maya Rock­ey­moore Cum­mings, Cum­mings’ wi­dow and chair­woman of the Mary­land Demo­cratic Party, and for­mer Bal­ti­more Mayor Stephanie

Rawl­ings-Blake are among oth­ers who have said they are con­sid­er­ing run­ning.

Eight other Democrats have for­mally filed to run.

There’s a dead­line of Nov. 20 to file to run in a spe­cial pri­mary Feb. 4 in the district, which in­cludes parts of the city of Bal­ti­more and the coun­ties of Bal­ti­more and Howard. After the spe­cial pri­mary, a spe­cial gen­eral elec­tion will be held April 28, with early vot­ing be­gin­ning April 16. The win­ner of that elec­tion will fill the re­main­der of Cum­mings’ term, which runs into Jan­uary 2021.

April 28 also is the date of Mary­land’s reg­u­lar pri­mary elec­tion for can­di­dates for Congress from all eight dis­tricts in the state; win­ners will go on to com­pete in Novem­ber for two-year terms that be­gin in Jan­uary 2021.


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