7 Things to Know About Hillary Clinton’s Newest Democratic Challenger

A look at where Martin O’Malley stands on economics, abortion, immigration, and more.
Martin O'Malley. (Photo: Jim Bourg/Reuters)
May 30, 2015· 1 MIN READ
Samantha Cowan is an associate editor for culture.

A recent Saturday Night Live sketch that marked Hillary Clinton’s announcement of her inevitable presidential run teased, “It’s too funny. Martin O’Malley instead of me? He sounds like a Simpsons character.”

The 52-year-old former Maryland governor and mayor of Baltimore officially announced his run for the Democratic presidential nomination Saturday morning, joining fellow long-shot candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont in challenging Clinton.

Here are a few things to know about the newest Democratic candidate.

Fixing Wall Street

In order to prevent another economic depression, O’Malley wants to separate commercial and investment banks by reinstating the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act. O’Malley explained in a recent op-ed for The Des Moines Register how the crash could have been avoided if the act had not been repealed in 1999 during the Clinton administration. O’Malley called Wall Street bankers “bullies” during his Saturday announcement. “Tell me how it is that you can get pulled over for a broken taillight in our country,” O’Malley said, according to The New York Times, “but if you wreck the nation’s economy, you are untouchable.”

Expanding Women’s Reproductive Care

The pro-choice candidate maintains a 100 percent rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America for his stance on a woman’s right to choose. He signed Maryland’s Family Planning Works Act to expand low-income women’s access to contraception, treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and cancer screenings.

LGBT Equality

“The dignity of every person tells us that the right to marry is not a state right, it’s a human right,” O’Malley said in a recent campaign video. As governor of Maryland in 2012, he signed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in the state; it was subsequently approved by voters.

Tough on Crime

O’Malley is often cited as the inspiration for fictional character Mayor Tommy Carcetti on the HBO series The Wire. O’Malley isn’t a fan of the show or how it portrayed his city. During his 10-year stint as mayor of Baltimore, O’Malley’s zero-tolerance policy on crime led to 100,000 arrests in 2005, when the city’s population was approximately 640,000. His aggressive policies have been questioned in light of the death of Freddie Gray.

Immigration Reform

In 2012, as governor, O’Malley signed the Dream Act, which granted in-state tuition rates to undocumented immigrants that attended Maryland high schools for at least three years. He supports a legal path to citizenship and has criticized policies that detain undocumented immigrants in what he called “barbed-wire detention camps.”

Raising the Minimum Wage

During his time as governor, O’Malley made raising the minimum wage a priority. He signed legislation in 2014 to increase Maryland’s minimum wage from $7.25 and hour to $10.10 over several years. In April, he voiced his support of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, The Washington Post reported.

He Knows How to Have a Good Time

O’Malley sings and plays guitar in a Celtic rock band called O’Malley’s March.