Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley Starts Federal PAC

(Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted July 25, 2012 at 11:00pm

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley opened a federal political action committee this week, further fueling chatter that the second-term Democrat is eyeing future office.

O Say Can You See PAC will help federal candidates and two state ballot initiatives in the coming months, longtime O’Malley aide Rick Abbruzzese confirmed to Roll Call today.

“It’s a mechanism to help support these ballot initiatives and contribute to the national conversation,” Abbruzzese said.

Democrats often mention O’Malley as a potential candidate for president in 2016. The governor has upped his national presence in recent years, including taking the reins of the Democratic Governors Association.

But O’Malley ends his DGA term late this year. He’s also term-limited out of the governor’s office after the 2014 elections. After that, O’Malley could use his new PAC to maintain his political influence by supporting federal candidates who might return the favor down the line.

There’s also a lot at stake for O’Malley, with two major initiatives on the Maryland ballot. In November, voters can reject or affirm the state’s version of the DREAM Act, a new immigration reform law, and the legalization of same-sex marriage. O’Malley supports keeping both laws in place.

O’Malley’s PAC shares a name with the opening line of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which has roots in Maryland. In 1814, Francis Scott Key penned the lyrics for the national anthem at Fort McHenry in Baltimore.

O’Malley previously served as the mayor of Baltimore.