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Former NAACP chief and congressman Kweisi Mfume said Monday that he will run for the U.S. House seat most recently held by his friend Elijah E. Cummings, who died last month.

Considered an elder statesman in Baltimore politics, Mfume, 71, occupied Maryland’s 7th District seat from 1987 to 1996, when he stepped aside to lead the NAACP. Cummings (D) then ran for the seat and won.

Mfume’s up-from-the-streets story is well known in the district, which includes parts of Baltimore City as well as Baltimore and Howard counties.