Martin O’Malley, the former governor of Maryland and Democratic presidential candidate, endorsed South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg to be the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee. O’Malley told Politico:
“I’ve known Pete Buttigieg for many years, he has been a terrific mayor. He’s one of those new, up-and-coming leaders in our country and in our party that’s really bringing forward a new and better way of governing,” O’Malley — who himself briefly considered a run for the chairmanship before bowing out in November — told POLITICO. “He speaks with a clarity that our party really, really needs right now. He has been successful in a so-called red state, he brings to the public service of being mayor the background of having served in our armed forces.”
“He is of a new generation of leadership. Our party sometimes talks about bringing forward a new generation of leadership, well, hey man, there’s never been a better time,” added O’Malley, referring to the 35-year-old veteran of the war in Afghanistan.
Some context and back story here:
- O’Malley briefly considered running for DNC chairman himself very early on but ultimately chose not to get in the race.
- Buttigieg rival Tom Perez – a Maryland native – served as O’Malley’s secretary of labor in 2007. That O’Malley is endorsing Buttigieg and not Perez is seen as a snub in some quarters.
- O’Malley is endorsing Buttigieg days before the fourth and final DNC regional forum, scheduled to take place in Baltimore – the city where O’Malley was once mayor – this Saturday.
Buttigieg – a Navy reservist and veteran of Afghanistan – also received the endorsement of VoteVets, a progressive veterans’ group:
“Progressives need fresh and bold new leadership, like Mayor Pete, to lead the way to regaining the majority in Congress, and the White House,” said Jon Soltz, Iraq War Veteran and Chairman of VoteVets. “Veterans like Pete know how to communicate to so many Americans why it is progressive policies that will keep America safe, and prosperous. Being from the heartland, Pete also knows how to reconnect with huge swaths of the country that Democrats, frankly, have ignored. He has a record of success in Indiana doing just that – not just on a rhetorical level, but on a technical and strategic level, as a great organizer. That’s why he’s exactly the right person to lead the progressive movement, as chair.”