Running in Kamenetz’s place, Ervin’s name not set to be at top of Md. ticket

WASHINGTON — Maryland’s elections officials say there’s not enough time or money to reprint the ballots for the state’s June 26 Democratic primary to reflect that Valerie Ervin is running for governor in place of her late running mate, Kevin Kamenetz.

But Ervin believes her campaign deserves an updated ballot.

Ervin, who had been tapped by Kamenetz to run as lieutenant governor, announced Thursday that she’ll take his place in the race and run at the top of the ticket. She named Marisol Johnson, a former Baltimore County Board of Education member, as her running mate.

“We at the Valerie for Maryland Campaign sincerely believe that since the law allows me to run for governor, we have the right to new ballots,” Ervin told WTOP Friday evening. “Any champion of democracy who wants Maryland voters to decide this election should want our Ervin/Johnson ticket on the Democratic primary ballot.”

In explaining how elections officials will leave the ballots as is, however, Donna Duncan, assistant deputy for election policy at the Maryland Board of Elections, said that notifications regarding the change will be posted at polling places, and that information reflecting the change will be sent out with absentee ballots.

If Ervin’s efforts to update the Democratic primary ballot fail, it would not necessarily be detrimental, said Maryland Matters co-founder Josh Kurtz. “If there’s sort of a special reminder to support the legacy of Kevin Kamenetz and support Valerie Ervin, this might work to her advantage in a sort of crazy way,” he added.

It’s still not clear if Ervin will be able to access the money that Kamenetz, one of the front-runners in the Democratic field, raised in the race. Kamenetz had been the top fundraiser among the Democrats running for governor. Ervin said she’ll seek legal advice on whether her campaign can access that money.

Voters have until 9 p.m. June 5 to make sure they’re registered to vote. Early voting starts June 14 and runs through June 21.

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