Representative Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Hillary Clinton, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, arrive on stage at the start of an event in Baltimore, Md., April 10, 2016. 
Photo by Drew Angerer/Bloomberg/Getty

Top Democrat on Benghazi committee endorses Hillary Clinton

Updated

Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the highest ranking Democratic member of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, endorsed Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid on Sunday.

“I will be voting for Hillary Rodham Clinton as president of the United States of America,” Cummings told supporters at a campaign rally in Baltimore ahead of the state’s primary on April 26. “I’m asking everyone of you along with Lottie, Dottie and everybody to vote for Hillary Clinton, so it will be abundantly clear I am endorsing Hillary Clinton for president.”

Cummings’ endorsement, which he has held out on for months, cemented Clinton’s support from Maryland’s Democratic congressional delegation, including Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin.

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A Washington Post/University of Maryland poll released last week showed Clinton leading Sanders 55 to 40 percent among likely Democratic voters in the state.

After the campaign event, Cummings told reporters that Clinton should take on some of the issues that Sen. Bernie Sanders, her Democratic rival, has focused on, including income inequality and college affordability.

“My advice to [Clinton] would be to try to first of all embrace the types of things that Bernie Sanders is talking about and speak to the needs of those folks who really want to be supportive of progressive policies, and to me that’s most important,” he said.

At the campaign rally, Cummings pointed out that Clinton is best suited for the presidency.

“To Bernie Sanders, I say thank you. Thank you for focusing our nation’s attention on income inequality, for spending your career fighting for peace and justice, for advocating for universal health care. But Bernie, I know Hillary Clinton. I knew her as first lady when she and her husband President [Bill] Clinton led our nation to peace and prosperity,” he said.

In an op-ed submitted to the Washington Post, the congressman wrote, “Families in Baltimore who are hurting right now need more than the promise of a political revolution.”

He added that Clinton “not only understands the challenges facing Baltimore and other cities, she’s laid out a clear and detailed agenda that meets those challenges head-on.”

Cummings has defended Clinton on the Benghazi committee, saying Republicans’ actions “have shockingly become more partisan, secretive and dysfunctional.” The investigation into the 2012 attack in Libya that killed four Americans while Clinton was secretary of state continues amid accusations of a political agenda.

Benghazi, Hillary Clinton and Maryland

Top Democrat on Benghazi committee endorses Hillary Clinton

Updated