Tough night for O’Malley goes beyond Governor’s race

Capital News Service

On a night when his hand-picked successor for governor, Anthony Brown, suffered a surprising loss, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley also watched more than half of the Democratic candidates he spent the last year campaigning for lose in the Republican wave that swept the country Tuesday.

O’Malley spent much of 2014 traveling the country donating money, fundraising and lending staff from his political action committee, O’Say Can You See, to state and federal candidates in the hopes of laying the groundwork for a run at the Democratic nomination for president in 2016.

His PAC contributed close to $200,000 in campaign donations and paid 27 staffers to work for Democratic candidates in twelve states this year, Federal Election Commission filings show. Much of his support went to candidates in states such as Iowa that are important for launching a presidential bid.

In total, 18 of the 29 candidates O’Malley contributed money to lost their races. Most of his success came with candidates for state positions, which will do less to raise his national profile.

“It’s certainly a big blow,” said Roy Meyers, professor of American politics at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. “He’s already starting from a very poor position compared to other potential candidates. This made it a bit harder.”

In Iowa, which holds the first caucus for the nation’s presidential nominating process, O’Malley visited four times, contributed $31,500 to state and federal candidates and paid for 14 staffers to be dispersed to campaigns throughout the state.

Only three of the six candidates, U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack and two state senate candidates won their races.

In New Hampshire and South Carolina, only two of the five candidates between the states won their races.

One of them, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, was part of what O’Malley dubbed “the O’Team,” a group of Democratic candidates that included Iowa U.S. Senate candidate Bruce Braley, Kentucky U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes, Maine gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud and Nevada lieutenant governor candidate Lucy Flores.

In a mass email sent in August, O’Malley referred to the group as, “The kind of leaders who inspire all of us to believe like Americans again.”

Shaheen was the only member of the group to win a race.

Below are the candidates O’Malley contributed to, as well as whether they won or lost their races:

Candidate Win Loss Runoff
U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes-Kentucky x
U.S. Senate candidate Natalie Tennant-West Virginia x
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin-Illinois x
U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn-Georgia x
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu-Louisiana x
U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan-North Carolina x
U.S. Sen. Mark Udall-Colorado x
U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen-New Hampshire x
U.S. Senate candidate Travis Childers-Mississippi x
U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth-Illinois x
U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly-Illinois x
U.S. House candidate Amanda Renteria-California x
U.S. Rep. Scott Peters-California x
U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick-Arizona x
U.S. House candidate Patrick Henry Hayes-Arkansas x
U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack-Iowa x
U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney-New York x
U.S. Rep. Tim Bishop- New York x
U.S. Rep. Carol Shea Porter- New Hampshire x
U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster- New Hampshire x
U.S. Rep. Stephen Horsford- Nevada x
U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego-Texas x
Iowa gubernatorial candidate Jack Hatch x
Georgia gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter x
Illinois Gov.Pat Quinn x
Nevada lieutenant governor candidate Lucy Flores x
South Carolina lieutenant governor candidate Bakari Sellers x
California Secretary of State candidate Alex Padilla x
Arkansas State Senate candidate J. Tyler Pearson x
Iowa State Senate candidate Kevin Kinney x
Iowa State Senate candidate Rita R. Hart x
Iowa Secretary of State candidate Brad Anderson x
Iowa State Senate candidate Steve Siegal x

 Mike Persley is a former Takoma/Silver Spring Voice student intern.