As Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) weighs a 2016 presidential bid, a raft of other prominent Maryland politicians are booked to attend a pair of fundraisers next month for a group laying the groundwork for Hillary Rodham Clinton to run.
Maryland’s Democratic U.S. Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski and Benjamin L. Cardin are both listed as “special guests” at a Dec. 1 event in Baltimore to benefit the Ready for Hillary PAC. State Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) is among the hosts, according to a “save the date” announcement.
Those advertised to attend an event three nights later in Potomac include Democratic U.S. Rep. John Delaney (Md.), Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) and eight current or incoming members of the Montgomery County Council.
The host committee also includes two unsuccessful Democratic candidates for governor this year — Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) and Del. Heather R. Mizeur (D-Montgomery) — as well as State Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp (D) and three current or recently elected members of the state Senate from Montgomery.
O’Malley spokeswoman Lis Smith declined to comment Friday on the Ready for Hillary events.
O’Malley has said he is moving forward with preparations for a possible White House bid regardless of whether Clinton runs. He recently told The Washington Post that he will probably have decided whether to move forward before his tenure as governor ends in late January.
The Ready for Hillary PAC spent the fall midterm season raising money for several Democratic candidates and recruiting supporters for a potential Clinton presidential campaign.
The outside group formed nearly two years ago and is expected to close its doors if Clinton announces that she is running.
Initially regarded with suspicion by Clinton advisers, Ready For Hillary quickly became a handy surrogate for Clinton as she sought to write a memoir and stay out of the political spotlight after leaving the State Department in 2013.
Some of the work has obvious overlap with any campaign Clinton herself might mount. She has said she will decide after Jan. 1 whether to mount a second run for the White House.
Clinton kept up a heavy midterm campaign schedule on behalf of Democrats this year. Her office released a list of 45 appearances over 54 days, including major rallies and small meet-the-voter stops in states from Maine to California.
O’Malley was also actively campaigning for other Democrats in states around the country.
Ready for Hillary is also raising money for Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) who faces a runoff next month.