Jennifer and Adia Cummings, two daughters of the late Rep. Elijah Cummings, endorsed a former staff member of their father’s to replace his congressional seat instead of his wife, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings.
According to CNN, the daughters prefer Harry Spikes, Cummings’ former staffer of 15 years who worked as his district director in Baltimore to succeed his 7th congressional district vacancy.
The Baltimore Sun reports the daughters appeared alongside Spikes when he announced his candidacy last week.
In an official statement to the Washington Post, Jennifer and her younger sister, Adia, revealed Spikes’ relationship with their father as one of the reasons they chose to support him over their stepmother.
“Harry knows this community,” wrote Jennifer, the eldest daughter of the civil rights activist. “Our father often said of himself that he was ‘an ordinary man called to an extraordinary mission,’ and Harry embodies that same spirit.”
Their statement also described how Spikes “has the unique ability to build a multi-generational and diverse coalition of support,” as he “represents that next generation of leadership.”
The race to succeed Cummings is a close one. Former Congressman Kweisi Mfume, alongside 24 Democrats, eight Republicans and Cummings’ widow, have declared their candidacy.
Maya Cummings married the Baltimore native late in 2008.
Elijah Cummings passed away on October 17 in Baltimore after unspecified health complications. He served in Maryland’s 7th congressional district from 1996 until his death.
The 68-year-old recently received national attention after publicly calling out the Trump administration.
Former President Barack Obama eulogized him at his funeral, calling him “honorable before he was elected to office.”
The primary in the special election is scheduled for February 4. The general election will be held April 28.