The wife of longtime Rep. Elijah Cummings will join a crowded field to challenge Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.
Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, who never previously sought public office, will be the second woman in the June Democratic primary. Krishanti Vignarajah, a former policy director to former first lady Michelle Obama, declared her candidacy last month to take on the Republican governor.
Rockeymoore Cummings, 46, announced her bid Thursday through a video.
“I’m not a typical politician. In fact, I’m not a politician at all,” she said in the nearly 3½-minute video. “I’m a change agent, with real-world experience.”
That experience includes working as a congressional aide and chief of staff for Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), a senior resident scholar with the National Urban League and vice president of research and programs with the Congressional Black Caucus.
For the past 12 years, Rockeymoore Cummings has managed her own policy consulting firm in northwest D.C.
“Maryland is blessed with many strengths, but we’re punching below our fighting weight,” she said. “With more than a quarter of our state’s revenue dependent on the federal government, [President Donald] Trump and the congressional Republicans attack on civil servants, research and environmental protections undermine Maryland’s economy.
“And all we hear from the current governor in the face of these attacks? A moment of silence,” she added.
She’ll face Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, who led in a poll released Oct. 4 as the top Democratic challenger to Hogan in the general election in November 2018.
The other five candidates are former NAACP President Ben Jealous, who received an endorsement Thursday from the Service Employees International Union; state Sen. Richard Madeleno of Montgomery County; Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamentz; attorney James Shea and technology entrepreneur Alec Ross.
As for Rockeymoore Cummings of Baltimore, her husband returned to Congress last month after undergoing heart surgery. One of his first actions upon returning to the office was introducing a bill with Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) to place the likeness of Harriett Tubman on the $20 bill by 2020.