Last February after Kweisi Mfume won the Democratic nomination to represent Maryland’s 7th Congressional District, he stood before hundreds of dining, dancing and cheering fans in a northwest Baltimore catering hall.
Last night after handily defeating his Republican opponent, Mfume stood before a small group of staffers and media in his campaign headquarters – eschewing a big gathering in order to follow social distancing guidelines instituted in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I want all of you to know that from Day 1, all of my attention, all of my energy, and all of my focus in the U.S. Congress will be about using science, data and common sense to get through this dark hour in our nation’s history,” Mfume said.
In the first-ever Maryland election to be conducted almost entirely by mailed-in ballots, the results are decisive though not final, as all ballots have not been counted.
Mfume led 73% to 27% over the GOP’s Kimberly Klacik, the Maryland Board of Election said this morning, showing Mfume with 78,887 votes and Klacik with 28,853 votes.
The election was held to fill the seat of Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of Baltimore, who died in October.
For five terms until he left to head the NAACP, Mfume had represented the 7th District – which includes much of Baltimore City, as well as parts of Baltimore and Howard counties.
Mfume’s victory yesterday returns him to the seat until January – the remainder of Cummings term.
Mfume and others vying to serve a full term (2021-23) as the district’s representative will come before voters again next month in the June 2 primary.
That election also will be by mail-only.
Election officials say they will begin mailing the ballots to Maryland’s registered voters on May 1.