Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is preparing to run for president, with an announcement slated for May 30, he told supporters on a private conference call Thursday evening, according to two sources on the call.
O’Malley steered clear of declaring his widely expected presidential run, with aides referring only to a cryptic, potential “federal campaign,” but the intention was clear to all.
The call featured about 200 donors, including 100 from Maryland and 100 from other states, one person on the call told msnbc. Donors were told that current and former governors and mayors were on the call as well.
In addition to O’Malley, longtime aides Colm O'Comartun and Adam Goers briefed supporters, along with newer hire Bill Hyers, who managed Bill de Blasio’s New York City mayoral run, the source added. O’Malley held other calls with staff, former staff, and friends as well, according to the second source.
Before the big announcement, O’Malley’s team plans to hold a dial-for-dollars working lunch with its finance council on May 21 in Baltimore. The team also announced a fundraising event at the home of Martin Knott, a longtime booster who has hosted two O’Malley fundraisers featuring folk rocker Stephen Stills.
Knott is expected to serve as O'Malley's finance chair. Terry Lierman, a former chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party, will also have a top fundraising role.
The former governor and mayor will likely take advantage of a window under campaign finance laws that allows potential candidates to conduct campaign activity for 15 days before officially declaring.
His political action committee staff, currently working from the same Washington, D.C. building that houses the Democratic Governors Association, which O'Malley used to chair, plans to move to a new campaign headquarters in Baltimore next week, according to the Baltimore Sun.
On the call, O’Malley gave his vision for new leadership to tackle the major challenges the country faces, especially on the economy, and touted his progressive record in Maryland. He also harkened to his time working for insurgent Democratic presidential candidate Gary Hart, a candidate he hopes to emulate.
The former governor has a tough road ahead on the path to nomination against front-runner Hillary Clinton, but hopes his record and desire for a generational change will help him catch fire.