Elijah Cummings’ Widow to Run for His Seat: Campaign Update
Source: Bloomberg 

Elijah Cummings’ Widow to Run for His Seat: Campaign Update

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(Bloomberg) -- The wife of former House Oversight Committee Chairman and Maryland Representative Elijah Cummings said she would seek his seat following his death last month.

Maya Rockeymoore Cummings told Rachel Maddow on MSNBC that she would announce Tuesday that she’s running in Maryland’s seventh congressional district, which includes parts of Baltimore. She said her late husband “wanted me to continue this fight.” Cummings had been a key figure in the House impeachment inquiry and in other investigations of the Trump administration.

“We’d been discussing this for quite some time, because he had been ill for quite some time. And he had been pondering his future and what would happen to this seat,” she said on Maddow’s program. “So about six months ago we were talking and he said, ‘you know, I really do think you should take this seat,’” she said.

“So I am prepared, and I am ready to roll up my sleeves, and address what Baltimore needs,” said Rockeymoore Cummings, the chairwoman of the Maryland Democratic Party. The Washington Post reported Monday night that she had stepped down.

Maryland will hold a special primary election on Feb. 4, followed by a general election on April 28 to fill the seat, the state’s governor Larry Hogan, a Republican, said last month.

Warren Challenges Pelosi on Medicare for All (6:30 p.m.)

Elizabeth Warren said building support from Democratic voters for Medicare for All is a greater priority than convincing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi or moderate Democrats to embrace the proposal.

“We’re not there,” Warren told reporters in New Hampshire Monday. “We’re not there because we need to be out talking about people’s experiences right now, experiences with people with health care insurance.”

Warren last month offered details of her $21 trillion signature plan for a government-run health care system that ends private insurance and would be paid for by a tax on wealth. In an interview with Bloomberg News, Pelosi said she’s “not a fan” of the proposal. Warren also faces opposition from Republicans and moderate Democrats, including fellow presidential candidates Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg.

Warren said convincing a Republican-held Senate or moderate Democrats to back her plan begins by getting more Americans “to see just what’s broken in the system and see the need to fix it.”

Asked whether Biden’s plan for expanding the Affordable Care Act is a more realistic alternative, Warren said she supports strengthening and defending President Barack Obama’s measure as a step toward implementing Medicare for All.

Joe Biden Leads in New Hampshire Poll (4:17 p.m.)

Joe Biden has a small edge over other top Democrats among likely New Hampshire primary voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Monday.

Biden has the support of 20% of those surveyed, while Elizabeth Warren is at 16%. Pete Buttigieg is in third place at 15% and Bernie Sanders is in fourth at 14%. The margin of error for the poll, conducted Nov. 6-10, is 3.8%.

This is the first Quinnipiac poll of New Hampshire, so there is no basis for comparison to previous surveys by the university’s polling unit. But the results differ from Real Clear Politics’ average of polls, which shows Biden, Warren and Sanders running neck-and-neck with Buttigieg a distant fourth.

Just four other candidates notched more than 1% in the poll. Tulsi Gabbard at 6%, Andrew Yang at 4%, and Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer both at 3%. Of those surveyed, 14% said they were undecided. -- Jennifer Epstein

Buttigieg Says Military Prepared Him for Office (3:18 p.m.)

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said Monday that his military service gave him the right experience to unite voters across the political spectrum.

In a Veterans Day speech in Rochester, New Hampshire, the former Navy intelligence officer recalled being deployed to Afghanistan, where he “learned to trust with my life people with whom I had nothing in common except the flag Velcroed to” their uniforms.

“One of the reasons I’m running for president is to be a commander-in-chief who actually knows what it’s like to be sent abroad on the orders of a president,” Buttigieg said. “The folks who got in my vehicle did not care whether I was a Democrat or a Republican or an Independent, they cared whether my M4 was locked and loaded. They just wanted to get home safe, like I did.”

Buttigieg, the only veteran among the top-tier 2020 candidates, has been rising in the polls and is now in fourth place behind Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. He delivered his speech after a four-day swing in a state where 10% of adults are veterans, compared with a 6.6% national average.

Earlier, Buttigieg released a policy plan that calls for a strong national defense strategy and provides health care and mental health coverage for all service members. As president, he said he would tackle veteran homelessness and increase federal oversight of privatized housing contractors, expand educational opportunities and support small business ventures for veterans. -- Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou

Buttigieg Accents His Service in Veterans’ Plan (7:52 a.m.)

Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, who served as a U.S. Navy intelligence officer in Afghanistan, released a comprehensive policy plan for veterans and service members Monday.

“Our service members and their families deserve a commander-in-chief who understands and holds the service of our veterans sacred, and honors them in word and deed,” Buttigieg said in a statement.

The plan calls for a strong national defense strategy and providing health care and mental health services for all service members through the candidate’s Medicare for All Who Want It health care proposal. As president, he said he would tackle veteran homelessness and increase federal oversight of privatized housing contractors, expand educational opportunities and support small business ventures for veterans.

He also highlighted the need to support spouses and families of veterans, as well as women and LGBTQ service members, while cracking down on racial inequities in the military. The campaign didn’t provide an estimate of the cost of his proposals or indicate how they would be paid for.

Buttigieg, who frequently mentions his military service on the campaign trail, will deliver a Veterans Day speech on Monday in New Hampshire Monday as part of a four-day bus tour through the state. -- Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou

Sanders Unveils Plan for Veterans’ Services (6 a.m.)

Bernie Sanders presented a broad plan to overhaul health care and other government benefits provided to U.S. veterans, including a proposal to spend $62 billion over 10 years to modernize crumbling Veterans Administration medical facilities.

The plan also would fill almost 50,000 vacancies for doctors, nurses and other positions at the Department of Veterans Affairs in the first year of a Sanders presidency.

“As a nation, we have a moral obligation to provide the best quality care to those who put their lives on the line to defend us,” the Vermont senator said a statement. “Just as planes and tanks and guns are a cost of war, so is taking care of the men and women who we sent off to fight the wars.”

Other components of the plan include expanded access to mental health and suicide prevention services, added long-term care services and a simplified claims process. The campaign did not say how the new proposal would be funded.

The plan lets Sanders, who was chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee from 2013 to 2015, showcase a policy area where he’s had a bipartisan track record. He worked with the late Republican Senator John McCain on legislation that authorized 27 new medical facilities for veterans and provided $5 billion for more caregivers. -- Laura Litvan

COMING UP

Joe Biden will take questions from Iowa voters at a town hall hosted by CNN on Monday.

The major Democratic candidates -- including Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Sanders and Buttigieg -- are scheduled to appear Nov. 17 at the Nevada Democratic Party’s First in the West dinner, a major event that previously has drawn thousands to hear from presidential hopefuls.

Ten candidates have qualified for the fifth Democratic debate, on Nov. 20 in Atlanta: Biden, Warren, Sanders, Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Andrew Yang, Tulsi Gabbard, Cory Booker and Tom Steyer.

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