Gov. Martin O'Malley is soliciting campaign cash for five Democrats in competitive midterm races this year, a group his federal political action committee is branding the "O'Team."
O'Malley, who has been crisscrossing the country as he considers a run for president in 2016, counts Rep. Bruce Braley, running for an open Senate seat in Iowa, and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who is defending her seat in New Hampshire, as part of the team, according to an email to supporters sent by his committee on Thursday.
Those two Senate races, which are taking place in early presidential states, are among the most competitive in the nation. Republicans are angling to pick up the six seats they would need to control the Senate for the first time since 2006.
"I've met many great candidates while traveling the country this year -- the kind of leaders who inspire us all to believe like Americans again: in ourselves, in our nation, and in one another," O'Malley writes in the fundraising pitch sent by his O'Say Can You See PAC.
The "O'Team" also includes Kentucky's secretary of state, Alison Lundergan Grimes, who is challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell; a state lawmaker in Nevada, Lucy Flores, who is running for lieutenant governor; and Rep. Mike Michaud, who is running against Gov. Paul LePage of Maine.
The fundraising pitch is part of O'Malley's burgeoning effort to help Democrats in this year's election while also raising his own national profile. O'Malley, whose second term ends in January, has traveled extensively on behalf of other Democrats this year and has donated to incumbents running in competitive races, including Sen. Kay Hagan in North Carolina and Sen. Mary Landrieu in Louisiana.
Still, early polling shows the governor is not well known and that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would dominate the Democrat field, should she enter it.
O'Malley is set to travel to Florida and New Hampshire later this month and recently dispatched campaign staffers to several key states. On Thursday, party officials announced that O'Malley will deliver the keynote address at a fundraising dinner for the North Carolina Democratic Party on Oct. 18
The governor reported having nearly $895,000 on hand in two federal campaign accounts at the end of the second quarter.