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Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz — a Democratic candidate for governor and a fixture in state and local politics for nearly a quarter-century — died Thursday morning of a heart attack, officials said.

Baltimore County police issued a statement saying that Kamenetz, 60, had been transported by ambulance early this morning to University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center where he was declared dead of a cardiac arrest.

“Kamenetz was at his home in Owings Mills, asleep, when he awoke at about 2 a.m. and complained of feeling ill,” police said in a statement. “He was transported by the Garrison Fire Station’s Medic 19 to St. Joseph, where doctors pronounced him deceased at 3:22 a.m.”

The article goes on to state the following:

The two-term county executive is survived by his wife, Jill, and the couple’s two teenage sons, Karson and Dylan.

Kamenetz’s running mate, Valerie Ervin, was shocked to learn of the news early this morning.

“I can’t even believe this happened,” Ervin said.

According to county regulations, the County Council will have to vote on a replacement for Kamenetz to serve the remaining seven months of his term. Before a replacement can be appointed, the county’s administrative officer, Fred Homan, runs county government.

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