Martin O’Malley, Rand Paul plan trips to Iowa

Alex Hanson

Potential Republican and Democratic presidential candidates announced they will be visiting Iowa during the coming months.

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who may challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, is planning to make at least two stops in Iowa in the coming months.

O’Malley’s first stop will be in the Quad Cities on Friday, March 20, as he speaks to the Scott County Democrats at their “Red, White and Blue Dinner.” The event is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Clarion Hotel on Brady Street in Davenport.

In April, O’Malley will return to Iowa to speak again, this time in Des Moines on Friday, April 10 at the Polk County Democrats’ Spring Awards Dinner. The event is scheduled for 5 p.m. at the United Automobile Workers local 450 building on NW 6th Drive in Des Moines. 

While these two trips are O’Malley’s first of 2015, the former two-term governor made over two dozen stops across Iowa in 2014. O’Malley had multiple fundraisers for then-state Sen. Jack Hatch, D-Des Moines, who ran unsuccessfully for governor.

O’Malley also campaigned with U.S. Senate candidate Bruce Braley, U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack and Secretary of State candidate Brad Anderson.

O’Malley has said publically he may have his eyes set on the White House, but he has some ground to make up.

A new Iowa poll from The Des Moines Register and Bloomberg Politics released this past weekend showed O’Malley at the bottom out of the candidates polled, picking up just 1 percent of the vote.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the clear front-runner, with support from 56 percent of voters. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Vice President Joe Biden and former U.S. Sen. Jim Webb all polled in front of O’Malley, as well.

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., will travel to Iowa later this week to meet with Iowans as he considers a presidential bid in 2016.

Paul’s PAC, RANDPAC, released the finalized details on Feb. 2 about his trip, which includes stops in Ames, Des Moines and Marshalltown.

Paul will attend an “Audit the Fed Rally,” being hosted by the group Liberty Iowa, in Des Moines at Jasper Winery on George Flagg Parkway at 12:30 p.m on Friday, Feb. 6. 

Paul has several events scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 7.

In the morning, he will host a meet and greet alongside U.S. Rep. Rod Blum, a Republican from the first district. The event is scheduled for 9 a.m. at Legends American Grill in Marshalltown.

Paul reintroduced his bill to Audit the Federal Reserve in the Senate last week, while Blum cosponsored an identical bill in the House.

Later in the day, Paul will stop in Ames and attend the Iowa State vs. Texas Tech men’s basketball game at Hilton Coliseum. The game begins at 12:30, but Paul will finish the game in Suite 102 of the Scheman Building. He will gather with the Young Americans for Liberty and College Republicans student groups to finish watching the game, make remarks and speak to the media.

This week’s trip will be Paul’s first of 2015. Paul was in Iowa in November, making stops in the eastern part of the State. Paul also campaigned in Iowa for candidates during the 2014 midterm elections.

Paul was notably absent from the “Iowa Freedom Summit” on Jan. 24, but a new Iowa poll from The Des Moines Register and Bloomberg Politics shows it may not have hurt his chances in the Iowa caucuses, which are scheduled for just under a year on Feb. 1, 2016.

The poll showed Paul picking up 15 percent of the vote from likely caucus voters, just 1 percent behind Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.