Cummings died of cancer last month, his wife recently confirmed, setting in motion a rare special election that has attracted a field of 19 Democrats and eight Republicans so far.
“Congressman Cummings fought for us all,” Carter said to her supporters. “He wanted that no child born in West Baltimore would not have the same opportunities or advantages as children born in Bethesda or Chevy Chase. That dream will not die with him. I will continue that fight.”
Carter, a former public defender who has worked as a civil rights adviser, is known in Annapolis for independence. She is the third sitting state lawmaker in recent days to seek the seat, which includes half of the city and parts of neighboring Baltimore and Howard counties.
House Majority Whip Talmadge Branch (D-Baltimore City) — a nearly 25-year veteran of the legislature — filed to run. So has Del. Terri L. Hill (D-Howard), an Ivy League-educated plastic surgeon.
They joined a race that includes Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, the congressman’s widow and former chair of the Maryland Democratic Party, and former congressman Kweisi Mfume, who represented Maryland’s 7th district for two decades. Harry Spikes, Cummings’s mentee and longtime aide, has also filed. Spikes, Rockeymoore Cummings and Mfume each eulogized the congressman during an hours-long funeral that also featured former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
Candidates have until 5 p.m. Wednesday to file. A primary election will be held Feb. 4, and a general election will be April 28.
Ovetta Wiggins contributed to this report.