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October 18, 2019

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Yesterday, I woke up to the tragic news that my friend and mentor Elijah Cummings is no longer with us. I have been fearing this moment for some time, and I hoped that Elijah would follow in the footsteps of his namesake. Elijah, the prophet of the Old Testament, was a miracle worker, and I prayed that a miracle would restore my friend to good health.

But now my heart is broken. Elijah Cummings was the moral compass of Maryland politics. He was the conscience of Congress. And he reminded us regularly that the test of a man is not how much he helps himself, but how much he helps those less fortunate.

Elijah passed that test with flying colors. Wherever he went, his North Star was helping people, especially those in the shadows. And his legacy runs deep -- from the neighborhoods of Baltimore to the halls of the House.

I woke up yesterday with a mix of grief and gratitude. Grief for what we've lost; gratitude for all he gave us. Elijah Cummings was one of a kind. He was a man of great conscience and character. A man who never faltered in the face of injustice, who never backed down from fighting for what was right. He leaves us with a broken heart but a better world.

Here's my tribute to an American hero. I hope you'll give it a read.

Tom

Tom Perez
Chair
Democratic National Committee

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