Local leaders mourn after death of Rep. Elijah Cummings

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Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings had roots in Maryland, but his death is being mourned across the country.

Dr. Alma Adams, 12th Congressional District of North Carolina representative, remembered Cummings as a powerful but compassionate leader.

“He was looked up to. He was iconic, but yet he took time to show the care and sincerity that he had for youth and really wanting them to succeed,” she said. “He took a personal interest in my grandson who is now a freshman at Howard [University] and he wrote him a wonderful letter of recommendation. He talked to him, encouraged him, that was very impressive to me.”

North Carolina A&T State University student and Student Government Association President Allison Gilmore met Cummings several times on Capitol Hill when she interned with the Congressional Black Caucus.

“He was so nice, and sometimes representatives can be here or there, but I remember him having such a great spirit and he was so open, and he was always willing to give advice,” she said.

Will Harris, principal scholar at The International Civil Rights Center and Museum, reflected on Cummings’ efforts to move the country forward.

“Future America is not going back to the old ways, and those voices that create stability of expectation for what can come next in this country are the ones that we really care to cherish and having his voice silenced right now is an incredible loss,” he said.

Cummings had represented Maryland’s 7th Congressional District since 1996.

He was chairman of the House Oversight Committee.

Cummings died at a hospice associated with Johns Hopkins Hospital.

He was 68 years old.

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