Martin O'Malley is headed back to Iowa -- for Hillary Clinton

Martin O'Malley will campaign for Clinton in Iowa.

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is returning to Iowa this week to campaign for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, marking the first time he has served as a surrogate on her behalf since he dropped out of the race in February.

O'Malley, who exited the race for the nomination after coming in a distant third in the Iowa caucuses, will campaign at a phone bank in Des Moines on Thursday and will speak at a Clinton campaign organizing event in Sioux City the next day.

Earlier in the contest, O'Malley was considered a possible candidate for a Cabinet post in a Clinton administration if his campaign ended. But his once close relationship with the Clinton family has been harder to assess. The former Baltimore mayor has avoided interviews with media and has not spoken much publicly about the contest, or Clinton, since he left.

O'Malley waited until early June to endorse Clinton, when it had been clear for weeks that she would be the party's nominee.

The former governor is expected to focus his address Friday on Clinton's economic plans.

O'Malley, who got his start in presidential politics as part of Gary Hart's team in Iowa in 1984, spent a considerable amount of time on the ground in the Hawkeye State this year running a traditional presidential campaign. But the effort struggled to take hold, O'Malley wound up with less than 1 percent of caucus goers and he dropped out shortly after the voting was over.     

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