Martin O’Malley to challenge Hillary Clinton in 2016 race


Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

Alex Hanson

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is officially in the 2016 race for the Democratic presidential nomination, setting up another challenge to front-runner Hillary Clinton.

In front of supporters in Baltimore, where he was mayor of from 1999 until 2007, O’Malley said if America elects new leadership, the American dream can be rebuilt.

O’Malley spoke extensively about the growing income gap between the rich and poor, railing against Wall Street and big banks.

“We are allowing our land of opportunity to be turned into a land of inequality,” O’Malley said. “Main Street struggles, while Wall Street soars.”

He spoke of his history as mayor and governor, touting his record of successful public schools, college affordability, protecting air, water and land, along with passing marriage equality and the DREAM Act.

“We believed in the dream,” O’Malley said. “Together we took action to make it real, and that is exactly what we must do as a nation today.”

O’Malley said good paying jobs and wage policies will allow hardworking families to get ahead.

“The story of our country’s best days is not found in a history book, because this generation of Americans is about to write it,” O’Malley said. “That is why today, to you, and to all who can hear my voice, I declare that I am a candidate for President of the United States, and I’m running for you.”

O’Malley joins Clinton and another challenger for the Democratic nomination, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Another candidate seen as a long shot, former Rhode Island senator and governor Lincoln Chafee, a Republican-turned Independent-turned Democrat, is expected to join the race this Wednesday.

While O’Malley may pull some support from Democrats in the race, Hillary Clinton still widely leads in polls. Mack Shelley, professor of political science, says along with U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, it is hard to see him making much ground at this point.

“He doesn’t seem to have anywhere near the resume that Clinton has,” Shelley said. “They have their wings of the party carved out.”

O’Malley is set to hit the campaign trail in Iowa right away, he will be in Davenport this afternoon and in Des Moines later this evening.