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Looking ahead to primary, special general elections in April

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Posted at 6:12 PM, Feb 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-05 18:17:10-05

BALTIMORE — Now that the results are in for the Democrat and Republican who will be running against each other for the 7th Congressional District seat, the focus is turning towards the election in April. But on the ballot is much more than this special general election.

On April 28, it's also the presidential primary statewide and the primary for Baltimore City mayor.

"All of them are important... and your local officials too. We just need to deal with our issues that we are having and you need to select the person that you think can do the best job," said Baltimore City Election Director Armstead Jones.

7th Congressional District voters will decide who will temporarily fill the seat left vacant by the late Congressman Elijah Cummings. In Tuesday's special primary, voters chose Kweisi Mfume as the Democratic candidate and Kimberly Klacik as the Republican.

Both won with more than 40 percent of the votes in their respective parties, but Mfume got around 25,000 more votes.

He held the seat for 10 years before Cummings was elected, when Mfume stepped down to lead the NAACP.

"I know the community and the community knows me. Together, together one district not divided by subdivision. One group of people united in our belief that we can do better," said Mfume.

Klacik founded a workforce development nonprofit for women and is on the Baltimore County Republican Central Committee.

"We march on. April 28 is right around the corner but I think we can do this. It's time for a fresh face to come into this seat. There hasn't been a Republican in this seat since 1953. Lets change that," said Klacik.

In addition to choosing who will fill that seat until January, 7th District voters will again choose form a crowded filed of candidates for who they want to represent their party and run for the next full term in November's general election, potentially voting for the same candidate twice.

Tuesday's voter turnout was low, around 20%, but Jones thinks and hopes April's will be much higher. He encourages people to do their research ahead of time because there are so many candidates, even marking up the sample ballot that gets mailed and bringing it to the polls.

The deadline to register to vote in the primary is April 7 and early voting starts the 16,