Democratic presidential candidate former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley speaks during the Iowa Democratic Party's Hall of Fame Dinner, Friday, July 17, 2015, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) ORG XMIT: IACN1
Democratic presidential candidate former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley speaks during the Iowa Democratic Party's Hall of Fame Dinner, Friday, July 17, 2015, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) ORG XMIT: IACN1 (Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press)

Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley on Thursday won praise from a well-known liberal group for his positions on Wall Street, a sign that progressive advocates are taking notice of his efforts to run a campaign to the left of Hillary Clinton.

"Progressives are looking for a race to the top among Democratic candidates on big, bold, economic populist ideas," Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee said in a statement. "Martin O'Malley was the first candidate to make criminal prosecution of Wall Street bankers a 2016 issue -- and it's been great to see a race to the top with Clinton and Sanders making bold statements in favor of accountability for bankers who break the law," he said.

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The show of support comes as both O'Malley and Clinton are set to discuss the economy and Wall Street this week. O'Malley is expected to speak about his Wall Street proposals at an event in Washington today. The two-term Maryland governor has called for doubling funds at financial regulatory agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, mandating larger capital reserves at large banks, and reinstating the 1933 regulations that separate commercial and investment banking.

Clinton will deliver a speech on the economy in New York on Friday.

Wall Street reform is receiving renewed attention this week, the fifth anniversary of the passage of the Dodd-Frank banking regulations that were approved in the wake of the 2008 bailout of several large financial firms.

O'Malley has been hammering the financial sector since launching his presidential bid earlier this year, part of a populist message intended to appeal to the wing of the party that supports Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. So far the effort has done little for him in polls, which show him trailing both Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders by wide margins.

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