TOWSON, Md. - Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, a Democratic candidate for Maryland governor, died early Thursday morning of cardiac arrest, officials say. He was 60 years old.
In a press release, officials say Kamenetz was at his home in Owings Mills, asleep, when he woke up at about 2 a.m. and complained of feeling ill.
He was transported to the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson where doctors pronounced him dead at 3:22 a.m, officials said. A briefing regarding his death will be held later Thursday morning.
News of his passing sent shock waves through Maryland political circles.
In a statement, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan called Kamenetz a "a dedicated public servant" and directed all Maryland flags be lowered Thursday through sunset on the day of his interment.
Governor Larry Hogan today released the following statement on the death of Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz: pic.twitter.com/LtETdfVOL0— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) May 10, 2018
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh called Kamenetz “a friend and colleague” and said he was “an ardent supporter of Baltimore City.” She ordered all flags within the city to be flown at half-staff
Kevin was an ardent supporter of Baltimore City, who was a regular in our restaurants, cultural venues and at our major team games. I considered him a friend and colleague, and admired him for his commitment to pursuing the best interests of Baltimore County residents, even— Mayor Catherine Pugh (@MayorPugh50) May 10, 2018
while advocating for all Marylanders in his pursuit to be governor. Our hearts go out to his wife Jill and their two sons, and the many who cherished his friendship, easy smile and determined spirit.— Mayor Catherine Pugh (@MayorPugh50) May 10, 2018
In honor of the long and distinguished career of service of Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, all flags within Baltimore City will be flown at half mast today. We salute his life and legacy.— Mayor Catherine Pugh (@MayorPugh50) May 10, 2018
Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III, who was running against Kamenetz in the governor's race, said he was shocked and saddened by the news. “I am going to really miss being in the trenches with him trying to find solutions for MD problems,” he tweeted.
This photo is Kevin and I from one of our advocacy events to protect education funding for @PGCPS and @BaltCoPS. I am going to really miss being in the trenches with him trying to find solutions for MD problems. Condolences to his wife Jill and his sons as well as the @BaltCoGov. pic.twitter.com/J6Jj99Ghol— Rushern L. Baker III (@CountyExecBaker) May 10, 2018