As news that powerful House Democrat Elijah Cummings, D-Md., died early Thursday, tributes from colleagues, admirers and critics poured in expressing shock and sadness at the 68-year-old champion of Baltimore was gone.
“#RIPElijahCummings, my Brother Beloved,” tweeted the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.
Baltimore activist DeRay McKesson posted the simple message “RIP,”
“My heart is saddened at the loss of a colleague and friend,” former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele wrote. “Elijah cared deeply about public service and the importance of ‘representing your people’ Rest in Peace good and faithful servant.”
Hakeem Jeffries, the chairman of the House Democratic caucus said he was deeply saddened by Cummings passing, adding “he spoke truth to power, defended the disenfranchised” and said “Congress has lost a Champion. Heaven has gained an Angel of Justice.”
Former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean, a former governor of Vermont, tweeted about what he described as “a terrible tragedy.”
“Elijah is one of the most honest, thoughtful, decent people I ever met in politics,” Dean wrote. “His moral compass was unfailing throughout his life in and out of politics. My deepest thanks to elijah’s family for lending him to our country for all these years.
“My condolences to the family of rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland who went to be with the Lord early this morning at 68 years of age,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., wrote. “May God grant his family strength & peace in these diffivult moments & his soul eternal rest.”
Actress Piper Perabo shared her thoughts: “Very sad to learn of the passing of Rep. Elijah Cummings this morning,” she wrote. “@RepCummings chaired the powerful House Oversight Committee. His booming voice rins in my ears, from when he demanded decency from the head of Homeland Security, for the treatment of children at the border.”
Bishop Talbert Swan, an author and talk show host, wrote: “Saddened to hear of your passing. Thank you for your service to our nation. Rest with the ancestors.”
Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz mourned the death, saying “When our nation can ill-afford to lose such a kind, principled leader one of my dearest friends and mentors has left us. My heart is broken, as I weep personally and for his family and community.” ‘She praised Cummings’ “unmatched integrity and leadership,” saying he leaves “a remarkable legacy.”
Scott Dworkin, co-founder and host of the podcast The Dworkin Report, wrote Cummings was “a true American patriot,” calling him a “true American hero who will never be forgotten.”
Senator, and Democratic presidential hopeful Kamala Harris, eulogized Cummings as “a fearless leader, a protector of democracy, and a fighter for the people of Maryland. Our world is dimmer without him in it.”
Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy III said Cummings “refused to be told what he could become or where his dreams might end,” adding “His towering presence will be missed but his legacy will live on with us all.”
In a Coalition to Stop Gun Violence tweet, the group called Cumming’s passing “incredibly sad news,” describing him as not only “an icon for justice and peace,” but a voice for the voiceless and a warrior for his city & community.”