By Sean Yoes, Baltimore AFRO Editor, [email protected]

Valerie Ervin, the former running mate of Kevin Kamenetz, the gubernatorial candidate who died suddenly last week, today decided she would pursue the governor’s mansion at the top of ticket.

Ervin, a former Montgomery County Council president told the AFRO, “I’ve been all over the state with Kevin and we have the strongest ticket of any of the gubernatorial tickets…he knew I was ready,” she said. “So, when he died it didn’t take me long to remember he had worked for years, raising more money than any of his other opponents…and his work wasn’t done.”

Valerie Ervin is the only African American woman running for governor of Maryland. (Facebook)

By state law, today was the last day for Ervin to decide if she would assume the top of the gubernatorial ticket once occupied by Kamenetz, who died May 10 of a cardiac arrest, or chose someone else to replace Kamenetz.

Ervin, 61, who was a member of the Montgomery County Council from 2006 to 2014, and executive director of the Center for Working Families chose Marisol Johnson, an insurance agent and a former member of the Baltimore County Board of Education, as her lieutenant governor candidate. Johnson was elected vice-chair of the Board, December 6, 2016. She is the mother of four children who attend Baltimore County Public Schools.

According to WBAL-TV, there are about two million ballots for the Democratic primary already printed and sent to local election offices with the name of Kamenetz and Ervin among the candidates listed.

“I think the state of Maryland is ready for a woman of color at the top of the ticket,” Ervin said. “The race isn’t finished.”