Maya Rockeymoore released the tragic announcement on Thursday that her husband, longtime Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings, had died following complications from a long-term health problem.
Rockeymoore's statement noted that her husband continued working right up until his death, as he played a key role in the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump.
"He worked until his last breath because he believed our democracy was the highest and best expression of our collective humanity and that our nation's diversity was our promise, not our problem," Rockeymoore said in a statement posted on Twitter. "It's been an honor to walk by his side on this incredible journey. I loved him deeply and will miss him dearly."
While Elijah Cummings had national prominence as a 23-year House veteran and the chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, his longtime wife is seen as a rising figure in Maryland politics. She has been leading an effort to bring more inclusiveness to the state Democratic Party and recently earned a key role in the state leadership to carry out those plans.
Maya Rockeymoore also has a long history working in the background of Washington politics, working as a key staffer for the Congressional Black Caucus and later in the House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee.
The 48-year-old Rockeymoore and Cummings had been married since 2008.
Rockeymoore Ended Her Run For Maryland Governor When Her Husband Was HospitalizedIn October 2017, Rockeymoore announced that she was entering the crowded race for the state's Democratic nomination for governor. Her run would not last long, as she dropped out a few months later after Elijah Cummings was hospitalized in January.
Cummings was taken to the hospital on December 29, 2017, for a bacterial infection in his knee. The Democratic congressman's staff said that he underwent a "minor procedure" at Johns Hopkins Hospital, the Baltimore Sun reported, and he would remain hospitalized for several days afterward.
In the wake of Cummings' hospitalization, Rockeymoore announced that she was dropping out of the race "due to personal considerations," but the campaign at the time declined to say whether it was related to her husband's health complications.
She Has Led Political Efforts To Take On Junk Food Companies And Expand Social Security
Maya Rockeymoore has operated a Washington-based policy consulting company called Global Policy Solutions LLC, the Baltimore Sun noted. In that capacity, she has led a number of efforts, including taking on junk food companies and seeking to improve nutrition for children. Her firm also helped to launch a small business training program for entrepreneurs in Maryland and to expand Social Security, the report noted.
Rockeymoore also served a number of behind-the-scenes roles on Capitol Hill, including serving as a staffer for longtime New York Democrat Charlie Rangel.
"I'm not a politician but I have worked at every level of government except the state level," Rockeymoore Cummings told the Baltimore Sun. "I have worked with policy leaders in the legislative and at the executive level throughout my career."
Rockeymoore Was Recently Elected To Serve As Chair Of The Maryland Democratic PartyAfter spending many years in the background of national and state politics, Rockeymoore recently took on one of the state's most prominent roles. As Maryland Matters reported, she was elected in December 2018 to serve as party leader for Maryland Democrats in a surprising election that knocked off party establishment favorite Kathleen Matthews.
"Cummings campaigned for the post noting dissatisfaction with the outcome of the gubernatorial race ― Republicans have now won three of the last five in the state ― and a promise to bring more inclusiveness to the state party organization. She pledged to create a state party platform and a permanent candidate academy," the report noted.
Rockeymoore also spoke of the need to expand the party, reaching out to all voters including those in rural areas.