Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) is booked to deliver the keynote address at the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson dinner in November, an appearance certain to stoke more chatter about his 2016 White House aspirations.
The Nov. 16 speaking engagement was announced Wednesday by the Democratic Party in New Hampshire, traditionally the nation’s first presidential primary state. It will be O’Malley’s first visit to the Granite State in more than a year and his first since speculation about a White House bid by Hillary Clinton has overshadowed talk about most other potential Democratic contenders.
O’Malley spokeswoman Lis Smith said O’Malley looked forward to “talking about the better choices he’s made and the better results he’s delivered in Maryland and to rallying the base” for the 2014 reelection campaigns of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and New Hampshire Gov. Maggie W. Hassan (D).
O’Malley has said publicly that he is weighing a 2016 presidential bid, though several aides have signaled that he is unlikely to run if Clinton becomes a candidate. O’Malley recently announced trips to several other states this fall to campaign on behalf of Democrats in an apparent bid to build goodwill. His itinerary includes Florida, Ohio and Texas.
O’Malley, who is term-limited in Maryland, has also worked in recent months to raise money for fellow Democratic candidates around the country, including a possible successor at home, Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D).
In a letter to New Hampshire Democrats released Wednesday, O’Malley touted some of his achievements in Maryland, calling the state “a national leader in schools, median income, holding down the cost of college tuition, and innovation and entrepreneurship.”
He also mentioned passage of same-sex marriage legislation and a measure to grant in-state public college tuition rates to undocumented immigrants who meet several qualifications.
Granite State Republicans were not impressed.
“It’s sad that the only speaker New Hampshire Democrats could attract for their annual dinner is a desperate, self-promoting, third-tier presidential hopeful with a disastrous tax-and-spend record,” said New Hampshire Republican State Committee Chairman Jennifer Horn.