Valerie Ervin (right) and her new running mate Marisol Johnson (left). Image from Ervin's official facebook page.

Valarie Ervin's running in place of her running mate who died unexpectedly, Maryland gubernatorial candidates talk transportation, Bowser misleads on education progress, DC policymakers talk Initiative 77, and more in our election link roundup. Want to stay on top of our 2018 election coverage? Sign up for our weekly newsletter!

She’s running
Valerie Ervin, a former Montgomery County councilwoman, has decided to continue with her campaign and run for governor in place of Kevin Kamenetz, who died earlier this month. Ervin hopes to honor Kamenetz’s legacy and continue the work of his campaign, as well as energize voters around her own record and vision. Ervin also announced Marisol Johnson, a former Baltimore County school board member, as her running mate. (Bruce DePuyt / Maryland Matters)

Battle of the ballot
Ervin’s campaign is pushing for a ballot reprint to accurately reflect the new ticket. Before Kamenetz's death, Maryland had already printed 1.5 million ballots for the Democratic primary. Election officials claim that there is not enough time to reprint the ballot before early voting begins in June and that some ballots have already been distributed to absentee voters. Maryland is proposing efforts to communicate to voters that a vote for Kamenetz will be a vote for Ervin. But Ervin and some of her opponenets are worried about confusion. (Ian Duncan / Baltimore Sun)

Maryland Democrats for transit
Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidates discussed their transportation visions this last week. They generally agree that transit is crucial to economic development, traffic reduction, and sustainability. All candidates promised to fund the Red Line in Baltimore and invest in bus rapid transit. While Democrats are not as supportive of highway-widening as Hogan, all support adding a lane or two to I-270, and some are even against tolling these additional lanes. (Katherine Shaver / Post)

SEIU Backs Edwards in Prince George’s County
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has endorsed Donna Edwards for Prince George’s County executive. The union has 15,000 members in Maryland. It hopes that Edwards will “clean house” in Prince George’s County's education system and invest in early childhood education programs. (Rachel Chason / Post)

Alexandria’s choice
The debate over “livability” continues in Alexandria. Incumbent Mayor Allison Silberberg generally sides with those that believe there is too much development, while her challenger, Vice Mayor Justin Wilson, is far more open to new development. He stresses the importance of making infrastructure investments, even if it means raising taxes and enabling growth and change. (Patricia Sullivan / Post)

Another forum in VA-10
Democratic candidates for congress in Virginia’s 10th District met for a candidate forum to discuss healthcare, racism, student loan debt, immigration, workplace harassment, gun violence, and tax breaks for large corporations. (Blue Virginia)

Bowser campaign misleads on education progress
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and her campaign have repeatedly made the claim that DC is currently the fastest-improving school district in the nation. While this appears to have been true in 2013, DC’s pace of improvement has slowed since Bowser has taken office and DC has been overtaken by cities like Miami and Chicago. Bowser’s campaign explains that the statements are not referring to test scores, but to the education system as a whole, including infrastructure. (Perry Stein / Post)

DC teens host a mayoral forum
A group of DC teenagers held a mayoral forum last weekend to discuss issues like education, gun violence, and gentrification with mayoral candidates. Bowser was unable to attend (to be fair, she had a very, very good excuse for missing). John Butler was the only mayoral candidate that participated. Karl Racine, DC’s attorney general, raised eyebrows by asking for an invitation and then participating even though he is not running for mayor this cycle. Some believe Racine is beginning to lay the groundwork for a run in 2022. (Perry Stein / Post)

Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance releases ratings
The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance last week announced their ratings of DC candidates. Ratings range from -10 to +10, the best possible rating. Incumbent DC Council members Anita Bonds, Mary Cheh, and Charles Allen each received +10 ratings. No challengers scored better than the incumbents in their races. Challengers largely support GLAA’s agenda but have less room than incumbents to establish tangible records. (Lou Chibbaro / Blade)

Bowser and six councilmembers are against Initiative 77
Bowser and six DC councilmembers are against initiative 77, which will be voted on during the DC Democratic primary in June. Initiative 77 would abolish the tipped minimum wage, which is much lower, and apply the general minimum wage to tipped employees. Among incumbents, only Mary Cheh supports the initiative at this time. Council challengers Lisa Hunter, Jeremiah Lowery, Ed Lazere, Lori Parker, and Sheika Reid support the initiative. Kent Boese and Michael Bekesha are against. (Martin Austermuhle / WAMU)