It didn’t get much attention, but former Congressman and NAACP head Kweisi Mfume defeated Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, the widow of Congressman Elijah Cummings, in a February primary bid for his Seventh Congressional District seat in Maryland.
Cummings, who held the seat for 24 years, died of cancer several months ago.
It was a crowded field with 32 candidates: 24 Democrats – including Mfume, who represented the District in Congress from 1987 to 1996 – and eight Republicans.
Cummings’ widow recently resigned as chair of the state Democratic Party to run against Mfume, one of her husband’s oldest friends. She came in second with 17 percent of the vote compared to Mfume’s 43 percent. She failed to get the support of Cummings’ two daughters and two of his sisters.
Black female Republican
On the Republican side, the winner was Black conservative commentator and activist Kimberly Klacik, who defeated seven other Republicans receiving, like Mfume in his contest, over 40 percent of the vote. She will face him on in the April 28 special general election to fill out the remainder of Cummings’ term, then run for a full term in November.
Klacik gained notoriety for her media appearances and social media posts of trash in Baltimore alleys which prompted President Trump to call it “disgusting, rat and rodent-infested.”
Klacik’s platform includes support for school choice and vouchers; the Second Amendment right of families to protect themselves; reciprocity in concealed weapon laws; free birth control so teenage girls have fewer abortions; workforce development through Opportunity Zones; and economic revitalization of inner-city Baltimore.
She is in an uphill battle. The district, which includes most of Baltimore City and parts of Baltimore and Howard counties, is more than 80 percent Democrat and has been held by a Democrat since 1953.
Mfume appears to be headed for an easy victory – unless Klacik can somehow pull off the upset of the century in this heavily Democrat district. To do so, she will need lots of campaign money – lots of it.
We know that the Republican National Committee (RNC) and National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) in Washington have done very little in the past to encourage or assist Black congressional candidates.
As I wrote in this space on July 1, 2016 in a post entitled, “GOP Ignoring Black Republican Candidates”: “By refusing to assist or ignoring. . . Black Republican candidates, they are saying that they really don’t want to win over Black voters; will not ask for their support; and, don’t care if they will never hear from ‘anyone in the Black community making a case to the contrary.”
What an excellent way for the GOP to show a commitment to inner-city America – support an outstanding young Black Republican woman fighting a “Goliath” in a Democrat-controlled district with neighborhoods ravished by poverty and crime.
Klacik could win
If the GOP establishment stood up for improving conditions in Black America and courted the Black vote as President Trump does in his advocacy for Opportunity Zones, criminal justice reform, and school choice, candidates like Klacik could be successful.
There is another group that stands on the sidelines and fails to assist Black conservative candidates for public office – White conservative SuperPACs – and mega-donors. Where are the George Soroses on the right who will help candidates like Klacik? Nowhere to be seen.
You must give Soros credit. He puts his money where his politics are. For example, he gave $250,000 to Andrew Gillum’s campaign for Florida governor.
To the best of my knowledge, the only SuperPAC which has committed to helping Klacik is BlakPAC.
Its CEO, George Farrell told me, “If conservative fat cats were as committed as the president is to the cause of Black American political progress and changing the political complexion of cities like Baltimore, they would follow his lead. Mrs. Klacik has the fortitude and energy to turn Baltimore around.”
Farrell is right
At least Soros is putting his money where his political mouth and heart are – supporting Black candidates who espouse his leftwing views.
The same can’t be said about his counterparts on the right.
Clarence V. McKee is a government, political and media relations consultant and president of McKee Communications, Inc., as well as a Newsmax.com contributor. This article originally appeared on Newsmax.com.