Martin O'Malley: I'm Not Running in 2020. Here's Who Should

Former Maryland governor endorses Beto O'Rourke
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2019 1:04 PM CST
Former Gov. Martin O'Malley speaks at a United Automobile Workers rally Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016 in Flint, Mich.   (Mark Felix /The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP)

(Newser) – Martin O'Malley, who staged his own "long-shot presidential" campaign, as he calls it, in 2016, reveals his pick for 2020: Beto O'Rourke. In a Des Moines Register column, the former governor of Maryland says he hopes the former Democratic congressman who staged a "courageous run for US Senate in Texas" last year, ultimately losing to incumbent Ted Cruz, runs for the White House. Back in 2016, "America wasn’t in the mood for new leadership. We were in a mood of anger, rage and retribution. And in this mood, Donald Trump’s candidacy rose," O'Malley writes. But now, things have changed: "People are looking for a new leader who can bring us together."

He recounts the two years he spent campaigning with more than 120 Democratic candidates in more than 30 states at every level of government and his finding that "voters were clearly longing for new leadership." It's impressive that O'Rourke came so close to beating Cruz in Texas, and O'Malley believes the country would embrace O'Rourke if he were to run for president. "Because he is of a new generation, O’Rourke understands that a new way of governing—with openness, transparency, and performance—is called for to tackle our problems in the Information Age," O'Malley writes. As Politico explains, there had been rumors O'Malley himself would run again in 2020, but he makes it clear in his column (read it in full here) he will not. (O'Rourke has been polling near the top of the pack of potential 2020 Democratic presidential contenders.)

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