Valerie Ervin Poised to Officially Enter 8th District Congressional Race

Valerie Ervin Poised to Officially Enter 8th District Congressional Race

Former County Council member says she plans to announce run 'in a few days'

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Via Valerie Ervin/Facebook

Updated at 10:45 a.m. — Former County Council member Valerie Ervin still hasn’t officially announced for the 8th District congressional primary.

But a Tuesday Facebook post from Ervin asking for donations makes the widely expected move seem likely soon. Ervin said Wednesday she's planning to announce for the campaign "in a few days."

“So many of you have been pushing me to announce a run for Congress in Maryland's 8th and I thank you for your encouragement! News outlets keep reporting that this is going to be an election driven by big money, but living in this community has taught me that those interests are no match for the diverse coalition of neighbors that have always constituted our team,” Ervin wrote on Facebook.

“I need to ask you a favor—please take two minutes to pledge a few dollars to me on CrowdPAC to show that you stand with me in solidarity,” Ervin continued. “The amount doesn't matter—the more small dollar pledges we get will send a message that we're serious about getting big money out of politics.”

Ervin’s CrowdPAC page solicits donations of $3, $10, $20 and $50 or more.

"We're waiting to see the results of our CrowdPAC, Facebook and Twitter messages to my friends and supporters and people who have been encouraging me to get in the race," Ervin told Bethesda Beat Wednesday. "It's been overwhelming in a lot of ways that the work I've always done in my life and career actually matters to people."

Ervin told Bethesda Beat in April that she and her team were planning to make an announcement “in the very near future.” She told The Gazette in early June that she planned to launch her campaign that next week.

It appears Ervin is waiting to establish an official campaign committee until after the June 30 “close of books” deadline for campaign contributions made in the second quarter of 2015. The deadline is required by federal election law.

Ervin’s entry into the race would bring the total number of Democrats vying for Rep. Chris Van Hollen’s seat to at least six.

Former Marriott International executive Kathleen Matthews, state Del. Kumar Barve, D-Gaithersburg, state Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez, D-Chevy Chase, state Sen. Jamie Raskin, D-Takoma Park, and former Obama administration aide Will Jawando have all officially announced.

Politics blog Maryland Scramble reported that Elizabeth Matory, who last year ran unsuccessfully for state delegate in District 18, told people at the Rural Democratic Summit in Frederick that she is also running.

"It's an exciting field. I'm excited and thrilled to be among some friends of mine who I've known and worked with for a really long time," said Ervin, who specifically pointed out Raskin, Barve and Gutierrez.

Ervin resigned a year before the end of her second council term after openly aspiring to run for county executive in 2014. But her path was blocked by County Executive Ike Leggett’s decision to seek a third term. Since leaving the council, Ervin has been executive director of the Center for Working Families, an arm of the Working Families Party.

"What's really important to me is if we're going to have an inclusive democracy in this country, everybody should be able to participate," Ervin said. "I want people to know that your $3 contribution or your $5 contribution is important because you get to participate as an equal partner in the campaign."

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