Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is planning political trips next month to Florida, Ohio and Texas, kicking off what an aide said will be an aggressive effort to help elect more Democratic governors next year.
The new push comes as O’Malley (D) continues to weigh a 2016 White House bid and seeks to build his national exposure. It also comes at a time when Hillary Clinton has overshadowed all other potential Democratic presidential contenders.
Advisers say O’Malley’s travels will build upon his past efforts as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association and should help build good will if he decides to move forward with a presidential bid.
O’Malley is scheduled to appear in Ohio on Oct. 9 to help Ed FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga County executive, who is running for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination next year with the hope of unseating Gov. John Kasich (R). O’Malley plans to attend a fundraiser and another event in Cleveland.
O’Malley’s trips to Florida and Texas are not being designed to benefit a particular candidate but will instead focus on the need to switch the party in control of the governor’s offices in those states, said spokeswoman Lis Smith.
In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott (R) is seeking reelection next year. O’Malley is scheduled to be in Tallahassee Oct. 8.
On Oct. 26, O’Malley is scheduled to travel to Texas to be the keynote speaker at a Democratic function, the Johnson Rayburn Richards dinner in Houston.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is not seeking reelection next year. Wendy Davis, the state senator who staged a filibuster in June against new abortion regulations, is a potential Democratic candidate.
Smith said O’Malley might also travel to Pennsylvania in coming weeks.
“Governor O’Malley has been asked by candidates across the country to campaign on their behalf and provide an example of what results-oriented leadership looks like,” she said. “His primary focus is on electing more Democratic governors, and October will kick off an aggressive campaigning schedule to make sure that happens.”
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, Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D).
Last month, he traveled to New Jersey to campaign on behalf of Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who is seeking a U.S. Senate seat.