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Md. gubernatorial candidate Valerie Ervin backs down in ballot battle

In this file photo, Valerie Ervin, as a Maryland gubernatorial candidate, tells supporters "we're not done" after a judge denied her request to change the primary ballots to reflect that she is now running for governor, not lieutenant governor. Ervin decided to take the place of Kevin Kamenetz at the top of the ticket after he died suddenly. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

WASHINGTON — She’ll “appeal” to voters in other ways.

Maryland Democrat Valerie Ervin will not take her bid to change the ballot in a jam-packed gubernatorial race to the Court of Appeals.

Ervin decided to run after Kevin Kamenetz — who was originally vying for the governor’s seat — died suddenly in early May.

A Maryland judge blocked her attempts to force a ballot change on June 4.

Elections officials have argued the ballot can’t be changed because there isn’t time enough before the June 26 primary. They planned instead to post notices about Kamenetz’s death and tell voters Ervin is running in his place.

Kamenetz, 60, had been a fixture in Maryland politics since the 1980s.

He had been a prosecutor, a member of the Baltimore County Council and Baltimore County executive. He died just hours after a candidates’ forum at Bowie State University.

Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge William Mulford, who smacked down Ervin’s efforts, told her he was sympathetic, but said that the State Board of Elections’ actions after Kamenetz’ death and their decision to not reprint the ballots were “reasonable.”

He said election officials were neither “arbitrary” nor “capricious” as Ervin’s attorney had alleged.

But still, he wished Ervin well as he made his ruling, saying, “Good luck to you.”

WTOP’s Kate Ryan contributed to this report.


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