By Sean Yoes
AFRO Baltimore Editor

Last week, Sen. Jill P. Carter confided to the AFRO that she had already made the decision to run for the seat once held by the late Rep. Elijah E. Cummings. But, what Carter, who currently represents the 41st District of Baltimore City was grappling with was the location of her announcement.

On Nov. 19, the location for her announcement was made clear when she stood before the statue of the iconic Billie Holiday on Pennsylvania Ave., and officially announced her candidacy to be the next Representative for the 7th Congressional District.

Sen. Jill P. Carter declared her candidacy for the 7th Congressional District on Nov. 19, in front of the statue of legendary Baltimore. (Photo by Imani Wj Wright

Carter, known to her supporters as “the people’s champion,” told the AFRO this moment to compete for the seat once held by the legendary Parren J. Mitchell seemed in some ways inevitable.

“I was born in the 7th Congressional District, raised in the 7th Congressional District, campaigned as a very little girl for Parren J. Mitchell. That campaign was one where the Black community felt for the first time ever we had help in having actual representation in the Congress of the United States of America,” said Carter, the daughter of human rights and civil rights champion Walter P. Carter. 

“I feel pulled by my history from my father, and from Parren J. Mitchell, and even more recently from Elijah Cummings. I feel my entire political career has prepared me for this. I’m ready, I don’t feel any stress, I don’t feel any anxiety I don’t feel any fear. I just feel like this is what I’ve been prepared to do and I’m ready to do it,” Carter added.

Carter, a lawyer, was appointed to her seat in the Senate by Gov. Larry Hogan in April 2018, to fill the vacancy created when former Sen.Nathaniel Oaks was ultimately incarcerated on federal corruption charges. She subsequently went on to handily win the Democratic Primary in Nov. 2018. Prior to her chair in the Maryland Senate, Carter was director of the Baltimore City Office of Civil Rights from 2017-2018. She also served in the Maryland House of Delegates, also representing the 41st District, from 2002-2017. Carter joins a crowded field vying for the seat once held by the powerful Cummings including Cummings’ widow Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, Baltimore City Del. Talmadge Branch, former NAACP President Kweisi Mfume and Howard Co. Del. Terri Hill.

 “We need people in Congress like Elijah Cummings that were willing to take leadership and push back against Trump. And he will be missed in terms of the impending impeachment proceedings. But, by the same token we need to be very honest about the fact that if Democrats had done a better job of getting up for the people, we likely wouldn’t have a Trump,” Carter said.  

“It’s time to get real with who Democrats are and I definitely will represent the most progressive voice in this Congressional race. That’s pretty obvious just based on my track record and also my track record of being very independent,” she added.

 “I actually believe as a voter that I want somebody that’s going to be in the halls of Congress and in the halls of Annapolis that isn’t a yes person, just putting party over the people.” 

Sean Yoes

AFRO Baltimore Editor