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O’Malley to send campaign staff to Iowa, N.H. and elsewhere to aid fellow Democrats

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is preparing to dispatch more than two dozen campaign staffers to other states with competitive elections this year, including Iowa and New Hampshire, in his latest move consistent with someone gearing up to run for president.

O’Malley (D), who has said he is seriously considering a 2016 White House bid, plans to meet Friday with members of the group, who will be sent by his political action committee to states with gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races in the fall, aides said.

O’Malley spokeswoman Lis Smith confirmed the governor’s plans but offered few specifics and declined to share the states to which the staffers will be sent, beyond Iowa and New Hampshire. Both states have gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races on the fall ballot.

Smith characterized the plans as part of O’Malley’s ongoing effort to assist Democrats across the country win 2014 elections.

“The governor is doing everything he can to elect more Democrats, and this is part of that,” she said.

Over the past two years, O’Malley’s PAC has made more than $230,000 in contributions to Democratic candidates and committees, according to campaign finance records. O’Malley has also hosted more than dozen fundraisers for fellow Democrats, aides said.

And he has appeared in more than two dozen states at party dinners and other events. Those include multiple events in both Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states with presidential nominating contests.

O’Malley’s political activities have far exceeded those of other Democrats considering a 2016 run but have been overshadowed by speculation about whether Hillary Rodham Clinton will enter the race.

The tactic of paying for campaign staff in other states prior to a presidential year is one that has been employed by other White House hopefuls in past cycles.

Smith declined to discuss the staffers that O’Malley’s PAC has hired for the upcoming field work, which will focus on getting sympathetic voters to the polls.

O’Malley has long believed in the importance of that kind of campaign work. In 1984, he worked in Iowa as field organizer for presidential candidate Gary Hart.

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

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