Ervin Must Decide Today Whether She’ll Run For Governor

Former Montgomery County Council member faces 5 p.m. deadline


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Valerie Ervin

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Valerie Ervin must decide by this afternoon whether she’ll run for governor in place of her former running mate Kevin Kamenetz, who died suddenly of cardiac arrest May 10.

Under Maryland law, Ervin, a Silver Spring resident and former Montgomery County Council member, can decide to run for governor, appoint someone to run in Kamenetz’s place or  discontinue the campaign.

A Kamenetz campaign official told Bethesda Beat on Wednesday afternoon that he was not aware whether Ervin had made a decision.

Ervin has until 5 p.m. to decide, according to the law, which enables a lieutenant governor candidate to replace a deceased gubernatorial candidate up until 40 days before the primary, which is June 26 this year.

Ervin has been encouraged to run by Prince George’s county executive candidate Donna Edwards, a former Maryland congresswoman. Edwards said in a press release Monday that her childhood friend Ervin would be able to pick up the campaign where Kamenetz left off.

“We’ve been friends for nearly all our lives, and I can think of no one with more integrity, more commitment to service who is better suited for the job,” Edwards said in the statement.

Ervin served one and three quarters terms on the Montgomery County Council representing Silver Spring-based District 5 before she resigned in 2013 to take the executive director position with the New York-based Center for Working Families.

Jared DeMarinis, director of the state Board of Election’s campaign finance division, told Bethesda Beat last week that Ervin would not be able to use the approximately $2 million in campaign funds Kamenetz raised for his gubernatorial run. That money, which becomes “surplus funds,” could be donated to charity, or a local or state Democratic central committee.

Ervin could use the funds she and Kamenetz raised together as part of their slate committee and any money she raised for her own campaign committee if she decided to run for governor, according to DeMarinis.

If Ervin chooses to run, she would join an already crowded field vying to win the Democratic nomination. Other candidates are state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Kensington), Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, former Michelle Obama adviser Krishanti Vignarajah, former NAACP President Ben Jealous, tech entrepreneur Alec Ross and Baltimore attorney James Shea.

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