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Congressman Elijah E. Cummings passed away early Thursday morning at Johns Hopkins Hospital from what his office says were “complications concerning longstanding health challenges.”

The 68-year-old Democrat had represented Maryland’s 7th Congressional District since 1996, which covered a large portion of Baltimore and its suburbs, as well as led the House Oversight Committee.

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Cummings had been absent from Congress since September 11. He had previously undergone a medical procedure that was expected to only take a week for recovery.

He is survived by his wife, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, who was recently elected chairwoman of the Maryland Democratic Party.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Congressman Cummings and his family at this time.