O’Malley expected to continue in a top role in Democratic governors group


Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., in September. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley will most likely retain a leadership post in the Democratic Governors Association when his two-year tenure as chairman ends next week, according to party sources.

O’Malley is expected to be named finance chairman at the DGA’s annual meeting in Los Angeles, the sources said. O’Malley held the position previously, and it will keep him in front of key Democratic donors as he weighs his political future.

O’Malley, whose national profile has grown considerably during his two terms as chairman, is likely to be succeeded by Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin. Shumlin has announced staff changes in Vermont in anticipation of his election next week by fellow Democratic governors.

The DGA is responsible for recruiting and supporting Democratic candidates for governor across the country.

O’Malley is coming off back-to-back terms as chairman during a stretch when Democrats exceeded the expectations of most pundits.

This year, the GOP added a 30th governor to its ranks, a high-water mark for either party since 2000. But just weeks before Election Day, the situation looked far more dicey for Democrats.

Eight of the 11 states holding gubernatorial elections were controlled by Democrats, and only one of those, North Carolina, flipped to Republican hands.

Meanwhile, Democrats won three other toss-up states: Montana, Washington and New Hampshire.

O’Malley has used the DGA chairmanship to appear on Sunday talk shows and travel the country, speaking on the Democratic dinner circuit. That has done a lot to fuel speculation that he is interested in national office in 2016.

O’Malley served as DGA finance chairman in 2008. He then became the group’s vice chairman for two years prior to his election in December 2010 as chairman.

John Wagner is a political reporter covering the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

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