WASHINGTON -- Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley said Saturday that Massachusetts congressman Ed Markey would make an "outstanding United States senator" but said he has no plans to campaign for his fellow Democrat, who is running in a special election to replace John Kerry.
The closely watched April 30 Democratic primary for Senate in Massachusetts will pit Markey against another congressman, Stephen Lynch. Markey has an early lead in polling for the seat held since 1985 by Kerry, who became Secretary of State this month.
Markey has also been endorsed by a number of high-profile Democrats, including Kerry himself.
"I know and like Ed Markey and I think he'd be an outstanding United States senator," O'Malley, who is attending the National Governors Association meeting in Washington, said when asked about the race in an interview with The Sun. "He's been helpful to me and I'd like to be as helpful to him as I can be."
O'Malley is widely viewed to be considering a run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016. If he runs, he will likely begin engaging in high-profile races outside of Maryland in the 2014 election cycle, especially with financial support but also endorsements.
It's not clear that his comments Saturday reflect that kind of jockeying, though. The governor said he had not been asked to raise money or campaign for Markey and that he has no plans to do so. He also checked with an aide to confirm there is a primary in the race before answering, an indication he is not yet paying particularly close attention to congressional politics outside of Maryland.
"What I'm focused on right now is doing the best job I can with the job that I have," O'Malley said.