As he ponders a political future beyond Maryland, Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) is bringing on board a seasoned Democratic strategist to help guide his new federal political action committee.
Stephen Neuman, who has most recently worked for North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue (D), will soon start as a senior adviser to O’Malley’s PAC, according to several people familiar with the hire.
Neuman also worked on President Obama’s 2008 campaign in North Carolina, where he upset Sen. John McCain (D-Ariz), becoming the first Democrat to carry the Tar Heel State since Jimmy Carter in 1976.
Aides have said O’Malley’s O’ Say Can You See PAC will be a vehicle for the governor to raise money for two high-profile ballot measures this year in Maryland — on same-sex marriage and immigrant tuition rates — and to campaign for President Obama’s re-election.
The PAC is also expected to enable O’Malley to continue his national political travels when his tenure as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association ends in December. Between now and then, the DGA has a number of tough races around the country.
When news of the PAC’s launch broke in July, it stoked talk about O’Malley’s ambitions for national office in 2016.
O’Malley’s jam-packed schedule last week at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte further reinforced that notion, though his prime-time speech was greeted with tepid reviews.
This weekend, O’Malley plans to travel to Iowa, the nation’s first presidential primary state, to appear at an annual steak fry hosted by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).
Neuman, a lawyer, has also worked for Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.). the late Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan (D), and for his widow, Sen. Jean Carnahan (D-Mo.).
Neuman joined Perdue’s staff last year, when it appeared the North Carolina Democrat would have a tough race for reelection. She later decided not to seek a second term.
Perdue is serving this year as vice chairwoman of the DGA, a post that has allowed O’Malley and his staff to get to know Perdue and her staff better.