Washington (CNN) — Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who has not been coy about his interest in a 2016 White House bid, is showing up in the early primary state of South Carolina on Friday to campaign with Vincent Sheheen, the Democratic Party’s nominee for governor this year.
O’Malley will join Sheheen for an afternoon meet-and-greet at The Alley, a restaurant in downtown Charleston, sources familiar with the planning told CNN.
His visit comes on the same day that Vice President Joe Biden, another Democrat flirting with a presidential run, appears in the state to deliver the University of South Carolina commencement address and raise money for the state Democratic Party in Columbia.
A former chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, O’Malley has been active in campaigning for gubernatorial candidates around the country this year. He’s planning a series of trips to Maine, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida to raise money for Democrats and campaign against vulnerable Republican governors in those states.
But given South Carolina’s marquee role in the presidential nominating process, his visit there to help Democrats in their quest to unseat Gov. Nikki Haley comes with an added dose of 2016 buzz. It’s the second time he’s visited Charleston to meet with local Democrats: he addressed a state party conference and convened a series of meetings with area power-brokers in March 2013.
O’Malley, though, isn’t just in the state for politics.
His daughter will be graduating from the College of Charleston this weekend.