By Sean Yoes, AFRO Baltimore Editor, [email protected]
Less than 24 hours after Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings announced her intention to seek the 7th District Congressional seat of her late husband Rep. Elijah Cummings, accusations of lying are swirling around her candidacy.
During a phone interview with the AFRO, Rockeymoore Cummings said she stands by her statement in the Baltimore Sun:
“Less than 36 hours after her husband passed, he (Kweisi Mfume) and Larry Gibson asked for a meeting through my pastor. We scheduled a meeting. It didn’t happen. I did text him and I didn’t get a response,” she said.
Mfume announced his candidacy to seek the Congressional seat he held prior to the late Cummings on Nov. 4.
“This is wrong…I know what the hell happened,” University of Maryland Law Prof. Larry Gibson, who is running the Mfume campaign told the AFRO. “Nothing could have been further from the truth,” Gibson added.
During a phone interview with the AFRO, Rockeymoore Cummings said she stands by her statement in the Sun.
“I’m in this race to win it and I’m looking forward to making my case to the people,” said Rockeymoore Cummings. “I’m focused on the future of the district, not the past.”
Gibson, a veteran political strategist said the Mfume campaign reached out to Rockeymoore Cummings via her pastor, Bishop Walter Scott Thomas on Oct. 26. Thomas presides over New Psalmist Baptist Church in Northwest Baltimore, where Cummings’ funeral was held Oct. 25. The late Congressman died Oct. 17.
According to Gibson, Rockeymoore Cummings agreed to the meeting and it was set for Oct. 28, at his home in Guilford at 6:30 p.m. Three hours prior to the meeting Gibson said Rockeymoore Cummings cancelled the meeting via Thomas. According to Gibson, Thomas relayed to him that she was “exhausted.”
The timing of the cancelled meeting to assess Rockeymoore Cummings’ intentions regarding her husband’s 7th District seat is not the only accusation of misinformation being hurled at her campaign.
Rockeymoore Cummings also told the Sun her husband told her he wanted her to take his Congressional seat; it’s an assertion Gibson scoffs at.
“Elijah never said anything (to me) about the prospect of her running,” said Gibson, who has known Cummings since 1969 when the politician was a senior at Baltimore City College High School. Gibson also said he consulted Vernon Sims, Rep. Cummings longtime chief of staff in reference to the late legislator’s desire for his wife to take his seat. “He said, `Never said anything to me,’” recalled Gibson regarding his conversation with Sims.
Rockeymoore Cummings said neither Gibson nor Mfume have been privy to private conversations between she and her late husband.
“I stand by what my husband told me,” said Rockeymoore Cummings. “I don’t know how he (Gibson) could possibly refute that.”