The 2016 presidential primary is finally getting started for the Democrats.
Sources have confirmed to The Daily Beast that Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is scheduled to speak at the Iowa Democratic Party’s state convention on June 21. Spokespeople for the Iowa Democratic Party and for O'Malley did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
O’Malley is widely considered a possible Democratic candidate for the presidency in 2016 and has already made political appearances in the early states of New Hampshire and South Carolina. He is the second candidate pondering a bid as a Democrat to appear in the Hawkeye State this year following Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who spoke at a local Democratic Party function in eastern Iowa earlier this month.
The field of Democratic contenders exploring a bid has long been frozen as Hillary Clinton contemplates what many pundits believe will be a likely bid for the presidency in 2016 and it’s unclear whether O’Malley would throw his hat into the ring if the former Secretary of State decides to run. But if Clinton decides to pass on a presidential bid, O’Malley, a relatively young two-term governor, would be a solid candidate in a splintered field.
In addressing the state convention, O’Malley will speak to a collection of the most important and dedicated Democratic activists from across Iowa including elected officials, county party officials and the most energetic party foot soldiers. They are the people who attend off-year caucuses when the meeting is just about party organization and debate on the state party’s platform. A good showing in front of these activists would be critical for O’Malley, who, unlike Clinton or Vice President Joe Biden, has never run for president before. The speech won’t be O’Malley’s first appearance in front of Hawkeye State Democratic activists though. The Maryland Governor was the keynote speaker at an annual steak fry held by Senator Tom Harkin in 2012, a gathering that was keynoted by Barack Obama in 2006 and by Vice President Joe Biden in 2013.