Md. gubernatorial candidate Valerie Ervin backs down in ballot battle

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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Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Writer/Editor for He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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