'I miss him already’: Va. lawmakers remember Rep. Elijah Cummings as powerful voice on Capitol Hill

VA lawmakers mourn the loss of Rep. Elijah Cummings

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Virginia lawmakers are expressing shock and sadness over the death of Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings.

Rep. Cummings has served 12 terms since 1996, known for being a powerful voice on Capitol Hill.

“He wasn’t just focused on his success he was focused on bringing up the next generation," explained Senator Jennifer McClellan. “He took the role of mentor and elder seriously and he wasn’t that old, so I think we thought we would have him around much longer to provide that leadership, that example.”

McClellan says in 2014, she and Cummings both spoke at the Page County Democratic Committee Dinner where he was the keynote speaker.

Rep. Cummings at the Page County Democratic Committee Dinner 2014
Rep. Cummings at the Page County Democratic Committee Dinner 2014 (Source: Senator Jennifer McClellan)

“He gave an amazing speech that night talking about the importance of being a part of the process," she said. "He really believed in the ideals of American democracy and making sure they applied to everyone.”

McClellan is among several Virginia lawmakers expressing condolences after learning the congressman died. Congressman Donald McEachin writing, “I miss him already and all of us will miss his powerful voice and his dedication to a better and more perfect union."

“The personal example of a public servant a servant leader who loved his country, loved his constituents and wanted to leave this world a better place," she explained. "He did, but his work is unfinished. He knew it would be unfinished and he wanted to make sure there would be people there to pick up the mantle. I just don’t think we expected to do it so soon.”

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