Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidate dies suddenly

- Mei 10, 2018

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, one of the leading candidates in Maryland’s crowded Democratic gubernatorial primary, died early Thursday morning after experiencing cardiac arrest.

County police said in a statement that Kamenetz, 60, had woken up at 2 a.m. at his Owings Mills home, feeling sick, and was taken to University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center, where he died before 3:30 a.m.

Kamenetz died only hours after participating in a candidates’ forum in Prince George’s County. He had been seen as one of the top contenders to take on Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who has managed to retain one of the nation’s highest approval ratings even in traditionally blue Maryland.

Two polls conducted in February showed Kamenetz running second to Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker in the primary, which also includes former NAACP President Ben Jealous, state Sen. Rich Madaleno, attorney Jim Shea, former State Department adviser and entrepreneur Alec Ross and former Michelle Obama adviser Krish Vignarajah. More recent polling showed all of them facing an uphill battle against Hogan.

The primary is June 26. The Democratic race has been a largely congenial affair, with little daylight between the candidates on most major policy issues.


As news of Kamenetz’s death circulated Thursday, tributes from his political rivals and others poured in.

“The first lady and I are shocked and grieved by the sudden passing of Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz,” Hogan tweeted. “Our prayers go out to his family and many loved ones this morning.”

Madaleno wrote on Twitter, “One of the unexpected joys of this campaign had been getting to know Kevin’s wonderful wit and humor. His perspective and dedication will be missed.”

Kamenetz was first elected as county executive in 2010. He had previously served several terms as a member and chairman of the Baltimore County Council, beginning with his election in 1994, and worked as a prosecutor in Baltimore. He was married with two teenage sons.

Baltimore County police said they would provide more information at an 11 a.m. briefing.


 

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