Her national profile has skyrocketed in the months since she was trounced by Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D-Md.) in an April special election to serve the rest of the term of the late Elijah E. Cummings (D). Mfume, who held the congressional seat for a decade before stepping down to run the NAACP in 1996, won roughly three-fourths of the vote and is heavily favored to win again on Election Day.
But Klacik, the founder of a nonprofit for disadvantaged women, has dialed up the rhetoric this summer and fall, releasing ads highlighting blight and trash in West Baltimore and urging Black voters to abandon the Democratic Party.
Her first ad, which Trump shared on Twitter in August, has garnered more than 12 million online views.
“Be smart Baltimore! You have been ripped off for years by the Democrats, & gotten nothing but poverty & crime,” Trump tweeted in September. “It will only get worse UNLESS YOU ELECT KIMBERLY KLACIK TO CONGRESS.”
Mfume suggested in a statement Friday that Klacik is trying to buy her way into office. “This Congressional seat belongs to the people of Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Howard County,” Mfume said. “Donald Trump and Kim Klacik cannot buy it. They should take their money and greed somewhere else, because we are not for sale.”
Neither Klacik nor her campaign could be reached for comment Friday afternoon. She was stumping in Arizona with Donald Trump Jr. at a Latinos for Trump event.
“Such a fantastic day! @DonaldJTrumpJr gave the best speech I’ve heard in a long time,” she wrote on Twitter, sharing a selfie of the two of them. “Can’t wait to celebrate @realDonaldTrump’s victory. I will flip Maryland’s District 7 & support our President.”
Mfume raised just $184,344 this quarter, which is not unusual for such a heavily favored candidate. With less than three weeks until Election Day, he has $269,300 on hand.
Klacik’s filing showed she had $3.6 million left, after spending at least $1.5 million on online advertising, nearly $155,000 on mailers, $11,000 on a private jet and thousands on events, including nearly $6,000 at Trump International Hotel in downtown Washington.
She received little money from political action committees, with most donations amounting to several hundred or a few thousand dollars from businesspeople or retirees. Realtors. Developers. CEOs. Doctors. Lawyers — even $250 from a California man, Christian Jordan, who identified himself as a lawyer for President Trump.
Klacik has campaigned on the promise of revitalizing minority, low-income neighborhoods she says have been long neglected by Democrats.
Mfume counters that he has decades of experience working in the trenches to help these neighborhoods, which “is not the same as walking through a community for 20 minutes.”
Klacik, who like Mfume is Black, has defended the president’s record on race relations before a national audience, including on “The View” last month.
She first splashed onto the national scene in 2019, after posting videos of West Baltimore on social media. Her videos are what led Trump to launch a fusillade of attacks on Cummings, then chair of the House Oversight Committee, for his stewardship of a district the president described as a “rat and rodent infested mess.”