Valerie Ervin Drops out of 8th District Congressional Race

ervin2UPDATED Former Montgomery Council Councilmember Valerie Ervin notified supporters this morning in an email and on her Facebook page that she is not running for the open 8th district seat congressional seat in 2016.

“It was a hard decision that kept me up many nights. Like many women of all backgrounds across our district who worry about how to pay the bills, send their kids to college, or take care of an ailing parent, my sleepless nights were motivated by money—or more accurately, the lack of it,” said Ervin. “You see, I’m not wealthy. I grew up working class and thanks to good union jobs, I’ve been able to work hard and achieve the middle class dream. I’ve been able to buy a home, take care of my needs, and to put away a little for a rainy day and retirement. But like many of you, I need to work to keep up. Unfortunately, our current political system doesn’t make much room for everyday Americans like me—especially women, people of color, and the non-wealthy—to compete on a level playing field.”

Ervin said she was not able to raise enough money for campaign.

“In politics today, fundraising is the sign of a campaign’s viability,” she said. “Not your ideas about how to serve your constituents, not your track record of service, not even the groundswell of grassroots support—but your ability to raise money. And unfortunately, I just haven’t been able to raise enough.”

She officially announced her campaign earlier this summer.

“During my brief campaign, I’ve been able to meet hundreds of working people who are struggling to provide for their families and meet their financial obligations,” Ervin wrote. “My message of the need to create economic stability for Maryland’s families resonated with many communities who are facing greater financial pressure while trying to stretch a shrinking paycheck. I’m as committed as ever to ensuring that the voices of everyone shapes the direction of District 8, the state of Maryland and our nation. And doing so means we’ve got to build better pathways to an inclusive democracy where everyone has a shot at winning political campaigns, despite their access to wealth.”

Other democrats running for the seat include State Senator Jamie Raskin, Delegate Kumar Barve, Kathleen Matthews, Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez, David Anderson and Will Jawando.

Anderson released a statement:

“Valerie Ervin has been a dedicated, effective public servant and a champion of families, especially low-income families,” Anderson said.  :Her candidacy helped to shine a light on one of the most important issues in this race–the need for our elected officials to advocate for meaningful solutions to the frustrations hard-working families face and their struggle to get ahead. I wish her all the best in her continued efforts.”

Matthews also posted a statement on her website:

“Valerie Ervin’s progressive leadership in Montgomery County is an example of the difference a woman’s perspective can make,” Matthews said. “Valerie knows the challenges of balancing work, family and responsibilities to other families, and has been an advocate for making government work better for all of us. We will miss her voice in this race, but I am sure that we will see her dedication to service again.”

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Sonya Burke

About Sonya Burke

Sonya Burke is the Multimedia Manager at Montgomery Community Media (MCM). You can email story ideas at or reach her on Twitter @SonyaNBurke.


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