Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday swore in 71-year-old Kweisi Mfume as a member of the House of Representatives, succeeding Elijah Cummings who died in office.
Mfume defeated Republican Kimberly Klacik in a special April 29 election in which many residents voted by mail because of the coronavirus.
Cummings represented Maryland’s 7th Congressional District in Baltimore.
During the swearing-in ceremony, Mfume wore a mask which he removed before raising his right hand so Speaker Pelosi could administer the oath of office.
He is expected to win the June primary for the Democratic nomination to Congress to serve a full two-years.
Mfume’s swearing in is a return to his old job. He served in the House from 1987 to 1996. Cummings succeeded him. Mfume resigned from Congress to chair the NAACP. He led the NAACP, the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, until 2004.
His victory speech focused on his determination to fight the coronavirus which has ravaged residents of his Congressional district which includes large areas of poverty as well as Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Mfume was born October 24, 1948.