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O’Malley suggests Clinton shouldn’t have a free ride

Gov. Martin O’Malley pushing his plan to raise the statewide minimum wage to $8.20 an hour in July, $9.15 an hour in July 2015 and $10.10 an hour in July 2016. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A new Wall Street Journal story features some interesting comments from Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), who is seen as one of the more likely 2016 Democratic presidential candidates.

In the story, O'Malley suggests that Democrats would benefit from a contested primary -- something some see as doubtful or to be avoided if Hillary Clinton runs.

“Our party and I think our country always benefit from greater dialogue and greater exchange of ideas,” O’Malley tells Peter Nicholas. “Because it’s only through the exchange of ideas that we arrive at the deeper understanding that allows us to move forward, especially through what we have to recognize are pretty confused and polarized times.”

O'Malley didn't address Clinton specifically, but it's hard not to read the comments in that light. His comments suggest he's not ready to cede the race to Clinton if she runs.

As Katie Zezima notes over on The Fix, O'Malley's record would seem to make him a more liberal possible alternative to someone like Clinton. O'Malley was among the first governors to legalize gay marriage and this week signed a bill decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

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