After spending much time trying to secure her own ballot position after gubernatorial candidate Kevin Kamenetz (D) passed away, former Montgomery County Councilwoman Valerie Ervin (D) announced yesterday that she will no longer campaign for Governor. Because Mr. Kamenetz died in the middle of the campaign and Ms. Ervin was his running mate, she had the option, which she exercised, of assuming the top position on the Kamenetz-Ervin ticket. But, state election authorities ruled that they would not change the ballots, meaning primary participants would still be instructed to vote for the late Mr. Kamenetz for the tallies to count for Ms. Ervin. Despite Ms. Ervin’s exit and endorsement for Prince Georges County Executive Rushern Baker (D), Mr. Kamenetz’s name will remain on the ballot.
The University of Baltimore, polling for the Baltimore Sun newspaper (5/29-6/6; 500 MD likely Democratic primary voters), finds a tie at the top of the Democratic gubernatorial contenders list. The fact that the candidates are locked in a dead heat is not particularly surprisingly, but the low number of committed voters as the campaigns begin the final drive toward the June 26th Maryland primary is unusual and might question the poll’s accuracy.
According to the Sun poll, former NAACP president Ben Jealous and Prince Georges County Executive Rushern Baker (D) are tied for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination with just 16% support apiece. No other candidate, including Valerie Ervin (D-Montgomery County) who took over the gubernatorial bid for the late Kevin Kamenetz when he suddenly passed away in early May, tops 5% support in this poll.
As we have been reporting, gubernatorial candidate Valerie Ervin’s (D) has been fighting administrative rulings to keep her name off of the ballot. You will remember she was the running mate to gubernatorial candidate Kevin Kamenetz (D) who suddenly passed away on May 10th. As was her right as the designated running mate, Ms. Ervin, a former Montgomery County Councilwoman, assumed control of the gubernatorial campaign, but the Maryland State Board of Elections ruled that it is too late to re-print ballots. The only way ballots count for Ms. Ervin is if people continue to vote for the late Mr. Kamenetz.
Ms. Ervin twice challenged the ruling in court, losing both times. Yesterday, she abandoned her legal moves, and will attempt to convince her supporters to vote for Mr. Kamenetz. The Maryland primary is June 26th. The most recent poll suggests that former NAACP president Ben Jealous has assumed the primary lead. The eventual Democratic nominee with then challenge Gov. Larry Hogan (R).
Gubernatorial candidate Valerie Ervin’s (D) legal saga continues. You will remember she was the running mate to gubernatorial candidate Kevin Kamenetz (D) who suddenly passed away on May 10th. As was her right as the designated running mate, Ms. Ervin, a former Montgomery County Councilwoman, assumed control of the gubernatorial campaign. Later, the Maryland State Board of Elections ruled that it was too late to re-print ballots and the only way ballots would count for Ms. Ervin is if people continue to vote for the late Mr. Kamenetz.
Ms. Ervin challenged the ruling in court asking for a ballot re-print to include her name, and has now lost twice, with the second ruling coming on Monday. She is now running out of time to change the system. Early voting begins June 14th for the June 26th primary election. The Board of Elections has agreed to allow signage in every polling place instructing voters who want to support Ms. Ervin that they must check Mr. Kamenetz’s name. Needless to say, this system damages Ms. Ervin’s chances of prevailing in the primary vote.
The Washington Post sponsored a poll of the Democratic primary (5/29-6/3; 1,015 MD adults; 968 MD registered voters; 532 likely MD Democratic primary voters) and found former NAACP president Ben Jealous taking over the lead with 21%. Prince Georges County Executive Rushern Baker is second with 16%, followed by Ms. Ervin who commands 8% support. State Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County) attracted 6% preference. The Democratic winner faces Gov. Larry Hogan (R) in the fall.
Valerie Ervin (D), who as his choice for Lt. Governor is replacing the late Kevin Kamenetz in the Maryland gubernatorial primary, lost a court decision late last week. She continues to oppose a State Board of Elections ruling that would require individuals to still vote for Mr. Kamenetz, who died on May 10th, in order for any tallies to count for her. Ms. Ervin, naturally, wants the ballots re-printed to include her name. Expecting to lose in the district court, the Ervin Campaign says the decision allows them to quickly appeal to a higher court where the candidate and her political leadership believe their chances of overturning the administrative ruling are better. The court decisions will have to be expedited because early voting begins on June 14th for the June 26th primary election.
Last week we reported that former Montgomery County Councilwoman Valerie Ervin (D), who was Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz’s running mate until the latter individual’s untimely death, had decided to replace him in the Democratic primary race. Under Maryland election law, the named Lt. Governor running mate in such a situation can ascend to the Governor’s position, officially withdraw the ticket, or name another individual to replace the deceased candidate.
This week, state authorities informed Ms. Ervin that while she can now run for Governor in Mr. Kamenetz’s place, her name will not appear on the ballot because it is too late to reverse the printing. Therefore, Ms. Ervin will have to convince her voters to continue to vote for the late Mr. Kamenetz in order for the tallies to count for her. Obviously, this procedure lessens her nomination chances. She faces Prince Georges County Executive Rushern Baker, former NAACP president Ben Jealous, and state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County) in the June 26th party primary. The winner opposes Gov. Larry Hogan (R) in the fall.
Last week it was widely reported that Maryland gubernatorial candidate Kevin Kamenetz, the Baltimore County Executive, suddenly passed away. Before his untimely death, Mr. Kamenetz had formed a ticket with former Montgomery County Councilwoman Valerie Ervin who was his choice for Lt. Governor. Under Maryland election law, Ms. Ervin is empowered to make a decision regarding continuing the campaign. She could automatically assume the top position on the ticket, withdraw the ticket from the race, or appoint a new candidate to replace the late Mr. Kamenetz.
Yesterday, Ms. Ervin announced she would continue the Kamenetz campaign and run for Governor. She then named former Baltimore School Board member Marisol Johnson as her own running mate. The Maryland primary is June 26th. Ms. Ervin is now campaigning against Prince Georges County Executive Rushern Baker, former NAACP President Ben Jealous, and state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County), among others. The winner then challenges Gov. Larry Hogan (R) in the general election.
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, who was one of the leading Democratic gubernatorial candidates, suffered a heart attack early yesterday morning and suddenly passed away at the age of 60. His passing leaves not only a void in statewide Democratic politics but also in Baltimore local government. Since Mr. Kamenetz chose an official running mate, former Montgomery County Councilwoman Valerie Ervin (D), she has until next Thursday to make a decision about her ticket’s status. Under state law, Ms. Ervin can elevate herself to the gubernatorial position, invite another person to take Mr. Kamenetz’s place, or withdraw the ticket from the ballot. The latest available campaign finance report showed the Kamenetz campaign had raised over $1 million, a war chest that Ms. Ervin will inherit if she decides to become the gubernatorial candidate.
The just-released Goucher Poll (4/14-19; 617 MD adults) finds Gov. Larry Hogan (R) remaining in strong shape as he prepares for his re-election campaign. According to the survey, a whopping 69% of the respondents approve of the job he is doing as Governor versus just 21% who disapprove. Fifty-three percent believe Maryland is headed in the right direction, while 28% say the state has gone “off on the wrong track.”
Gov. Hogan fares well against his potential Democratic opponent as the state primary approaches on June 26th. Against Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker (D), the Governor’s margin is 44-31%. If Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz were to win the Democratic gubernatorial primary, Mr. Hogan’s advantage would be 45-28%. Former NAACP president Ben Jealous falls in similar territory. He would also trail the Governor 44-31% if he were the Democratic nominee.
A new Burton Research & Strategies survey (3/4-8; 10-11; 600 MD registered voters) finds Gov. Larry Hogan (R) expanding his previously published polling leads over Democrats Rushern Baker and Kevin Kamenetz. When paired with Mr. Baker, the Prince Georges County Executive, Gov. Hogan scores a 50-29% major advantage. If Mr. Kamenetz, the Baltimore County Executive, were his opponent the Governor’s margin grows to an even larger 57-26%.
Though Mr. Hogan’s approval numbers are among the strongest of all Governors, Maryland’s Democratic voting legacy will eventually make the general election a close affair. While seven other Democrats are in the gubernatorial race, including former NAACP President Ben Jealous, the Burton group only released numbers associated with Messrs. Baker and Kamenetz.
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