SUCCESSION PLANS: Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz spent nearly three decades building a close-knit family, a successful legal career and a formidable political machine — all from the comfort of his native Baltimore County. With his sudden death, Baltimore County government must plan for his replacement and his gubernatorial running mate Valerie Ervin must decide is she will run in his stead, Doug Donovan and Pamela Wood of the Sun write.
- Fred Homan, Baltimore County’s veteran administrative officer, will serve as acting county executive until the County Council chooses a permanent replacement to succeed Kevin Kamenetz. Homan, who has worked in county government since 1978, assumed the post after Kamenetz’s death Thursday, Alison Knezevich reports in the Sun.
- Under Maryland election law, Ervin has until May 17 — 40 days before the June 26 primary —to decide whether she wants to replace Kamenetz as the gubernatorial candidate or designate someone to run in his place, Andrew Metcalf of Bethesda Beat reports.
- Rachel Baye of WYPR-FM reports that the situation is highly unusual in Maryland politics, maybe even unprecedented, said Todd Eberly, a political scientist at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. It has left many people grappling for what to do next, or even how to talk about it. “This changes the dynamic of this race, which means it needs to be talked about, it needs to be reported on,” Eberly said. “But this is such an uncommon occurrence and such a human tragedy that it really does raise the question of how do we talk about this.”
REMEMBRANCES CONTINUE: What was supposed to be a gubernatorial candidate forum Thursday night at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County became time for candidates and attendees to share memories of Kamenetz, Christina Tkacik writes in the Sun. Together, they painted a portrait of a boisterous, committed and, at times, downright goofy public servant who loved his family, Maryland politics and the Orioles — in that order. Many spoke of his political achievements, including his efforts to protect Dreamers on college campuses.
- Ovetta Wiggins of the Post reports that, known as a blunt, at times hard-charging politician, Kamenetz clashed with Gov. Larry Hogan on issues including school funding and the environment. On the campaign trail, he pledged to fight for Maryland workers, including a push for a statewide $15 minimum wage and an expansion of job-training programs.
- In an opinion piece for the Sun, Pamela Wood writes about what it was like to cover Kamenetz over the last four years. Kamenetz was smart, determined and always, always on message. His guard was always up, as if he didn’t want to get caught saying something off-message or off the cuff.
- Erin Cox and Pamela Wood offer up a quick list of Kevin Kamenetz’s career highlights in this piece for the Sun.
- Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz leaves a legacy of luring massive development investments to the jurisdiction. During Kamenetz’s nearly eight years leading Baltimore County, it attracted sizable investments for a variety of projects throughout the county, Adam Bednar of the Daily Record reports.
- Dan Rodricks of the Sun recalls that in one of Kevin Kamenetz’s last interviews before his death Thursday, recorded a week ago in the Sun’s podcast studio, he spoke proudly of having devoted many years to public service — once as a young prosecutor in Baltimore’s criminal courts, then as a Baltimore County councilman, and the last eight years as county executive. You can listen to that podcast here.
- Politicians and others remember throughout Maryland remember Kamenetz. This Sun story is much fuller than yesterday’s and includes former County Executive and current U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, who most recently endorsed Kamenetz for governor.
- The editorial board of the Annapolis Capital writes that “we don’t know if Maryland’s Democrats would have picked Kevin Kamenetz as their gubernatorial nominee on June 26, let alone whether all the state’s voters would have chosen him as governor on Nov. 6. But his sudden and shocking death from a heart attack on Thursday was not just a personal tragedy, but a blow to the state.”
- Ryan Miner of a Miner Detail blog has this remembrance of Kamenetz, including talking to him at a forum just a few days ago.
FUNERAL TODAY: The funeral procession for Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz will cause road closures in Baltimore County on Friday. The Sun reports that the funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. at the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation at 7401 Park Heights Ave. The burial will be at the Baltimore Hebrew Cemetery on Berrymans Lane.
- Family, friends and much of Maryland’s political class will gather at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation Friday for the funeral of gubernatorial candidate and Baltimore County executive Kevin Kamenetz, writes Arelis Hernandez in the Post. The 2 p.m. funeral service will be livestreamed here.
CALL 911: The death of Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz surprised many people in part because he was healthy and fit with no history of heart disease. But doctors said even people in the best of health with no signs of cardiovascular disease can suffer a deadly attack that stops the heart. Sometimes it is the first sign of heart problems. Doctors believe Kamenetz, 60, had a heart attack that led to cardiac arrest, Andrea McDaniels of the Sun writes.
- Kamenetz awoke in his Owings Mills home feeling tightness in his chest early Thursday. Rather than call 911 for an ambulance, he chose to drive about two miles away to the Chestnut Ridge Volunteer Fire Company where he had been known to get snowballs with his family, Alison Knezevich and Jessica Anderson of the Sun report. Officials said they don’t know why he chose to go to the fire station, tucked away off scenic Greenspring Avenue. The fire station is about 10 miles northwest — a nearly 20-minute drive — to St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson where he died.
- Rachel Chason of the Post writes that the first step for anyone experiencing symptoms of a heart attack — including chest pain, shortness of breath and fatigue — should be to call 911. “Time is critical,” said Dr. Michael Millin, associate professor of emergency medicine at Johns Hopkins University.
- David McFadden of the AP reports that Kamenetz did not call 911 from his home because he didn’t want to disturb the neighbors with sirens and lights, according to his chief of staff Don Mohler.
HOGAN IN HOWARD COUNTY: Gov. Larry Hogan and members of his cabinet kicked off today’s tour of Howard County, with visits scheduled to county businesses and institutions, on a somber note, reports Kate Magill in the Howard County Times. The morning was overshadowed by the sudden death of Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.
BUMP STOCKS: The state of Maryland has stumbled across a novel way to satisfy gun-control opponents: create a licensing process that cannot be put into practice, WBAL-AM is reporting. Maryland lawmakers had sought to ban bump stocks, the controversial rifle accessory used in last year’s Las Vegas massacre. But in writing the law, a clause allowing some gun owners to keep them may have backfired. The new law allows bump stocks and other “rapid-fire trigger activators” to be owned by people who get special dispensation from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. But the agency has no process or authority to offer that dispensation and, indeed, was never even told of the Maryland law.
CHEF CONSIDERS SENATE RUN: “I wouldn’t mind running for senator of Maryland,” Chef Jose Andrés, a resident of Bethesda, told Washingtonian last week. “Because I think we’re in need of shaping Congress. I consider myself a Millennial, and I think we are going to need more young people on the right and on the left, people of respect and understanding.” Jessica Sidman and Anna Spiegel of the Washingtonian write the story.
‘NOT AUTHORIZED’ POLITICAL SIGNS: The blue-and-white campaign signs sprinkled between Arnold and Severna Park lay out a few moral complaints about Republican candidates in county and state elections — but the person who paid for and placed them might not be on the moral high ground, reports Chase Cook for the Annapolis Capital. The handful of signs read “Peroutka = White Supremacy, Leopold = Convict and McConkey = Disbarred, We deserve better leaders, do your research, vote November 6.” The bottom of the sign is labeled with: “Not authorized by any opponent.”
CITY STATE’s ATTORNEY HOPEFULS DEBATE: Rarely does debate between candidates for elected office take place in front of a mountain of beer, nor is there usually an abundance of formalwear in a brewery. But that was the scene Wednesday evening at Peabody Heights Brewery on 30th Street in Baltimore, which played host to a forum for the candidates for Baltimore City state’s attorney, Samuel Manas reports in Maryland Matters. The forum was lively and sometimes touched on tensions between the candidates, but one important element was missing — the incumbent state’s attorney for Baltimore City, Marilyn J. Mosby (D).