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Md. candidate for governor endorses Rushern Baker after dropping out of race

"Today, I pass the baton on," Valerie Ervin said Wednesday before endorsing Rushern Baker and his running mate, Elizabeth Embry. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

WASHINGTON — Valerie Ervin has dropped out of the crowded Democratic field of Maryland gubernatorial candidates and is, instead, throwing her support behind Rushern Baker’s campaign.

Ervin and running mate Marisol Johnson made their endorsement Wednesday morning in Langley Park, Maryland, with the Prince George’s County executive standing with them.

“Today, I pass the baton on,” Ervin said Wednesday before endorsing Baker and his running mate, Elizabeth Embry.

“We did not make this decision lightly. We do this because we know that this is the ticket for Maryland. This is the ticket with the experience that will lead on day one,” Ervin said.

“This is the ticket that will beat Larry Hogan in November.”

Ervin was previously a candidate for lieutenant governor with Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz running for governor. But, after Kamenetz died suddenly in May, Ervin began her short-lived run for the state’s top job.

“This is a coming together,” Baker said about Ervin and Johnson’s endorsement. “This is not just the team for the election, for the next 13 days. This is about taking on and beating Larry Hogan, but more importantly, providing the opportunities to all Marylanders once we come into government.”

Ervin’s endorsement of Baker comes after a Maryland judge blocked her attempts to force a ballot change earlier this month. Election officials argued that they could not reprint ballots because there was not enough time before the June 26 primary.

Ervin said she would be “forever honored” that she was asked to run with Kamenetz. And, speaking on her own campaign, she said, “Our unlikely journey was fraught with road blocks,” and framed her fight to change the ballot as an issue of voting rights and the democratic process in Maryland.

She added, “We’re glad to be here today to usher in a new era for the Democratic party.”

Early voting begins Thursday.

WTOP’s Will Vitka and Nahal Amouzadeh contributed to this report. 


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