State Roundup: Mfume easily wins back House seat

State Roundup: Mfume easily wins back House seat

Kweisi Mfume reacts to his victory Tuesday night in the special election in the 7th Congressional District accompanied by his wife, Tiffany, son Christopher, and senior adviser Larry Gibson in Baltimore. Mfume said "it is almost surreal" to reclaim the seat, recalling he was on the floor of the U.S. House as his successor, Elijah Cummings, was sworn in 24 years ago. (Len Lazarick/

Former Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D-Md.)  (Edward Kimmel)

MFUME WINS HOUSE SEAT IN A WALK: Democrat Kweisi Mfume won the first election in Maryland since the coronavirus pandemic, prevailing in a mostly vote-by-mail contest to reclaim a Baltimore-area congressional seat he held for 10 years before he left to head the NAACP, Jeff Barker and Emily Opilio report in the Baltimore Sun.

  • There were more than 110,000 mail-in votes and just over 1,000 people voting in person, Jenna Portnoy and Rachel Chason of the Washington Post report. The former congressman will retake the 7th district congressional seat that he held before stepping down in 1996. He was followed into office by friend Elijah Cummings, who died last October.
  • Kimberly Klacik (Courtesy: Twitter)

    A final vote tally won’t be available for several days, because the overwhelming majority of ballots were cast by mail — a first for Maryland and a possible harbinger of things to come in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, Josh Kurtz writes for Maryland Matters.

  • Mfume won more than 73% of the vote, while Republican Kimberly Klacik got nearly 27%, according to the Sun.

BUILDING ON BIPARTISANSHIP: Former Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D-Md.) said just before the election that if he won the special congressional race to fill the remainder of the late Rep. Elijah Cummings’ term, he would build on the record of bipartisanship he established when he previously held the seat, reports Bryan Renbaum of MarylandReporter.

STATE SURPASSES 20,000 COVID-19 CASES: Maryland reported 626 new cases and 71 more deaths from the novel coronavirus Tuesday, pushing the state past 20,000 cases as it draws closer to 1,000 deaths from the virus, Nathan Ruiz reports in the Sun.

HALF OF DEATHS AT NURSING HOMES: Nursing homes in Maryland account for just over half of the deaths caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Scott Dance reports that new data released Tuesday evening by the Maryland Department of Health shows.

CHICKEN PLANTS FUEL SALISBURY-AREA COVID-19 CASES: The greater Salisbury area has one of the nation’s fastest-growing COVID-19 infection rates, and the numbers are expected to climb. Local officials say a surge in cases in neighboring Sussex County, Del., which is part of the Salisbury metropolitan statistical area, is driving the increase. “Five of the region’s poultry processing plants are in Delaware, and their employees have been hit hard, due to the cramped quarters in which they work,” Bruce DePuyt writes in Maryland Matters.

ARUNDEL MASTERS CONTACT TRACING: Lilly Price of the Annapolis Capital writes that by retracing the steps of people who are confirmed positive, contact tracing becomes key for containing the deadly coronavirus’ spread. It’s a routine procedure that has been done for decades, but tracking coronavirus requires an unprecedented intensity compared to other infectious diseases. And yet, Anne Arundel County has tracked all 1,571 cases as of Tuesday, making it a model for other counties.

$46.5B SOUGHT FOR CONTACT TRACING: Two Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

.03333333333doctors have co-signed a letter sent to U.S. congressional leaders that calls for additional action to support contact tracing for coronavirus cases. This is one of four building blocks Gov. Larry Hogan said must be achieved before beginning to lift restrictions in Maryland, Alexa Ashwell of WBFF-TV reports. The cost: $46.5 billion.

STATE TAPS 20 FIRMS TO MAKE PPE: State officials have tapped 20 companies across Maryland — including 16 in the Baltimore region — to receive a total of $1.6 million in grants to help manufacture personal protective equipment, Ethan McLeod of the Baltimore Business Journal writes.

  • Three Carroll County companies have been awarded grant funding from the state to support their production of personal protective equipment for use during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Carroll County Times.
Maryland State Department of Education Superintendent Karen Salmon

Maryland Superintendent Karen Salmon

SALMON: CHILD CARE PROVIDERS TO BE PAID: Maryland Superintendent of Schools Karen  Salmon said Tuesday that her office has doubled the number of employees working to pay the child care providers of essential workers and she expects that all 3,700 providers in the newly established Essential Personnel Child Care Program will be paid for their first two weeks of service by the end of this week, Danielle Gaines reports in Maryland Matters.

SPRING SCHOOL SPORTS NIXED: Any remaining hope of a high school spring sports season ended Tuesday when Superintendent Karen Salmon announced that the state was canceling athletic events for the remainder of the school year. That includes championships for spring sports and the state basketball tournament that was cut off in March, Tim Schwartz, Katherine Fominyk and Liz Bowie report for the Capital Gazette.

STATES, LOCALITIES SEEK FEDERAL AID: Pressure is mounting on federal lawmakers to avert a national budget crisis for state and local governments caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, writes Bryan Sears for the Daily Record. Local governments in Maryland and other states may have to lay off employees or make other drastic cuts as they look to fill an ever-widening budget gap brought on by orders that closed most businesses and dislocated workers.

FREDERICK COUNTY ANTICIPATES $45M FROM FEDS: Frederick County officials began briefing County Council members on the fiscal year 2021 budget process Tuesday, noting they are currently estimated to receive just over $45 million from the federal government due to the pandemic, Steve Bohnel of the Frederick News-Post reports.

BA CO OFFERS SMALL-BIZ GRANTS: Baltimore County will open a $10 million grant fund next month to help its small businesses frozen out of the federal Paycheck Protection Program. The grants of up to $15,000 each will be given to about 650 businesses that have 2 to 25 employees, Melody Simmons of the Baltimore Business Journal reports.

Mary Miller (Courtesy:

B’MORE MAYOR HOPEFUL SPENT $2M+ SO FAR: Former U.S. Treasury official Mary Miller on Tuesday reported spending more than $2 million in the competitive race to become Baltimore’s next mayor — funding a robust advertising effort her top rivals will struggle to match, Talia Richman and Luke Broadwater of the Sun report.

MO CO TO OFFER RENTAL RELIEF: Residents in Montgomery County who do not have eviction protection during the pandemic will soon be eligible for rental relief from a $2 million fund, Briana Adhikusuma of Bethesda Beat reports.

CECIL SCHOOLS FACE SHORTFALL: Cecil County public services — schools, libraries, emergency services, parks and others — are working in concert in many things during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in predicting future expenditures and revenues to form a working budget. For schools, that could mean budget shortfalls for the coming fiscal year, Jacqueline Covey of the Cecil Whig writes.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at:

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