BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Former gubernatorial candidate Valerie Ervin is accusing one of the frontrunners of bullying her.
At a campaign stop Thursday night in Owings Mills, Ervin continued to throw her support behind one of the frontrunners in the Democratic primary race for governor, Rushern Baker, after she dropped out of the race last week.
Now she’s leveling serious allegations at his main opponent, former NAACP president Ben Jealous. Ervin claims Jealous had a hand in her firing as a senior advisor for the Working Families Party, an organization that endorsed Jealous for governor, along with keeping her out of politics from the very start as a Lt. Governor candidate with the late Kevin Kamenetz.
“Ben Jealous is a bully, and he has been bullying me since February — even before I got on Kevin Kamenetz’ ticket. He did everything in his power to keep him off Kevin’s ticket and when I decided to go on Kevin’s ticket, my employer decided to release me from my employment,” Ervin said.
Both Jealous and the Working Families Party are disputing Ervin’s claims.
The WFP says Ervin left the organization on her own and that Jealous never made any demands or requests related to her.
A spokesperson for Jealous released the following statement to WJZ:
“Valerie Ervin’s claims are false and it’s unfortunate she has allowed an otherwise distinguished career to be reduced to nothing more than an attack dog for Rushern Baker. Clearly Rushern and Valerie can’t win on the issues, so they’ve resorted to lies. Nevertheless, Ben Jealous will continue speaking directly to voters about his plans to fully fund education and ensure quality affordable healthcare, because that’s what Marylander’s deserve from their public officials.”
Ervin insists her claims against Jealous are not political.
“Let’s just be clear what this is, we are in the midst of a national #MeToo Movement around sexual harassment, but it’s also around harassment of generally and bullying of women,” Ervin said.