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A brief history of Spouses Changing Their Dead Husbands in Congress

24 Feb , 2020,
Beth Weissman
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A brief history of Spouses Changing Their Dead Husbands in Congress

This tradition had been one of the most significant means US ladies gained usage of governmental energy when you look at the twentieth century

The next day, Marylanders within the state’s 7th congressional region will vote in an election that is primary determine who can end up being the nominees to change Congressman Elijah Cummings, whoever death in October 2019 left open the chair he’d held since 1996. A public policy consultant and the former chair of the Maryland Democratic Party among the many names (more than 20) on the Democrats’ primary ballot is Cummings’ wife, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings.

If she wins, she’ll become part of a almost century-long tradition of “widow’s succession, ” whenever wives either went or had been chosen to fill their husband’s vacated seats in Congress in Washington. (in accordance with the rule for the House of Representatives, vacant seats are filled via a unique election; only Senate seats may be filled by governor visit, with a few exceptions. )

This customized has slowed in modern times: If Rockeymoore Cummings wins the main after which the overall, she will be the very first girl since 2005 to ensure success a husband whom passed away in workplace. However the tradition had a defining impact regarding the makeup of Congress within the twentieth century as well as on feminine governmental representation. Because the Los Angeles Occasions reported in 1998, “Among first-time home applicants between 1916-93, 84 per cent regarding the widows won, while just 14 % of other ladies had been victorious.

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