Ervin Dropping Out of Governor’s Race, Will Back Baker

Former Montgomery County Council member’s campaign lasted less than a month after she chose to run following the unexpected death of running mate Kevin Kamenetz


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Valerie Ervin

Valerie Ervin is dropping out of the governor’s race and will back the campaign of Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker.

Ervin’s campaign announced Tuesday she will hold an event Wednesday in Langley Park to formally back Baker.

The move ends Ervin’s nascent campaign for the Democratic nomination, which launched less than a month ago—on May 17—after she chose to run for governor following the death of Kevin Kamenetz, who had selected her to be his lieutenant governor running mate.

Most of Ervin’s gubernatorial campaign was dominated by her effort to try to get the state to reprint ballots so her name would top the ticket rather than Kamenetz’s. A judge ultimately sided with the state’s decision not to reprint the ballots given the logistical constraints and lack of time before the June 26 primary election.

In a Baltimore Sun poll released this week, Ervin garnered support from 5 percent of likely Democratic primary voters. Meanwhile Baker was tied atop the field with former NAACP President Ben Jealous, who both polled at 16 percent.

Ervin is scheduled to appear with Baker at a Leisure World event with former Gov. Martin O’Malley, Sen. Chris Van Hollen, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh and Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett in Silver Spring at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday night.

The other Democratic contenders in the race—state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Kensington), Baltimore attorney Jim Shea, former Michelle Obama adviser Krish Vignarajah and tech entrepreneur Alec Ross—all polled with less support than Ervin.

Ervin served on the Montgomery County Council from 2006 to January 2014, before resigning to work for the Center for Working Families, an arm of the Working Families Party.

Her exit from the gubernatorial race marks the second time in less than three years that she has withdrawn from a race before the primary election. Ervin also withdrew from the race for the 8th District congressional seat in 2015. At that time, she told supporters in an email she wasn’t able to raise enough money to compete effectively against the other candidates in the race, which was ultimately won by Jamie Raskin of Takoma Park.

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