A Democratic candidate chosen to be a running mate in Maryland's race for governor is now at the top of the ticket.
Valerie Ervin was chosen to be Kevin Kamenetz's Lieutenant Governor before he died last week.
"When Kevin and I were going to win, this was in the back of my mind, that in eight years, I would run for governor so it just seemed like the moment was now if I would’ve blinked it would’ve never come again," said Ervin.
She had been campaigning with the late Kamenetz for five months when he died from cardiac arrest last Thursday.
"I literally spent the last five days in my house just being quiet, not responding to press," Ervin told WMAR2 News.
Ervin tells me she did that out of respect for Kamenetz and his family. But Thursday, she filed the certificate of candidacy for governor at the board of elections office.
"I used to run the 4x4 relay and you would have to hand off the baton and I believe since last Thursday and I’ve thought about this a lot, I believe that that baton is for me to pick up and run the rest of this race. What Kevin and I did together as a team, I will be able to carry forward at the top of the ticket."
And she’ll do that with running mate Marisol Johnson by her side.
"She was also Kevin’s friend and so we tried to balance the ticket statewide to make sure that the people in Baltimore County know that they have a candidate that represents their part of the state."
Ervin said this is an important race both here in Maryland and nationwide as a woman running for governor
"Who would’ve known that this was going to happen before he even got elected I know I’m ready, I have the experience," said Ervin.
The primary is June 26. Nine candidates are running for the Democratic nomination for governor.