On Oct. 17, 2019, the world lost one of the most powerful voices in the choir for civil and human rights, when Representative of Maryland Elijah Cummings passed away at the age of 67. One of the seemingly unimportant details in the sadness of losing such a champion of humanity, was what would happen to the $1 million in unspent campaign funds left in the “Cummings for Congress Campaign Committee.” The Baltimore Sun reports that, according to the campaign treasurer Ronald Thompson, before his death, “Cummings expressed that he wanted the unspent funds donated to youth programs, such as those helping needy students pay for college.”
Campaign accounts of the deceased can legally continue to be active for years, and much of the money usually makes its way into other candidates’ campaigns or into larger PACs. Thompson wrote to the Sun that Cummings’ former campaign committee was “winding down operations,” and working to make sure that any “excess campaign funds” get allotted in line with Rep. Cummings’ wishes.
According to OpenSecrets, Cummings’ campaign committee had last reported $1,049,031 “cash on hand,” at the time of his death. Rest in peace.