Martin O'Malley

Former Maryland Gov. and 2016 presidential candidate Martin O'Malley has endorsed Nate Boulton for Iowa governor. O'Malley is pictured during an appearance in January in Davenport.

CEDAR RAPIDS — Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley says he “met a lot of good people” while campaigning in Iowa ahead of the state’s 2016 first-in-the-nation precinct caucuses.

One of those Iowans he met was a Democratic legislative candidate from Des Moines — Nate Boulton. Now he’s coming back to Iowa to endorse the freshman senator for governor.

“I think Nate is an outstanding candidate for you all,” O’Malley said about Boulton, who faces six other Democrats in the race for the 2018 gubernatorial nomination.

O’Malley, who is convinced that if Democrats are going to win control of the White House and Congress, they first need to regain power in the states, will be in Iowa this week to endorse Boulton at a Des Moines fundraiser at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Saint’s Pub and Patio in Des Moines. He’s also doing fundraisers with Senate Democratic incumbents in Davenport, Maquoketa and North Liberty.

O’Malley sees Boulton as someone who understands the two sides of Iowa — the small towns and rural areas, as well as larger urban centers that are home to major industrial bases.

“Nate’s a person who understands not only the value of the land having grown up in a rural area, but he also understands that our economy is not money, but people,” O’Malley said about Boulton, who grew up in Columbus Junction in Louisa County.

He was impressed that Boulton, 37, was called on by his Democratic colleagues to lead their opposition to GOP-backed changes in workers’ compensation and collective bargaining rights even though he was in his first year in the Senate.

“I think that is a strong testament of the forward-looking new leadership he represents,” O’Malley said.

Boulton also fought for better funding for education “and he understands that there’s a cost to tax cuts for corporations,” O’Malley said. “That cost is born by the middle class taxpayers of Iowa who pay for it in reduced funding for their kids’ schools.”

He believes Boulton understands that “an inclusive economy is built on the skills of our people, not on the tax cuts for the super wealthy or for corporations.”

“I think that’s why he’s exciting people in this campaign,” O’Malley said. “I think you’re going to see him pull together a consensus across Iowa like no Democratic nominee has for some time.”


City Editor/Bettendorf News Editor

Liz Boardman is the Quad-City Times City Editor, manages the Economy section and Bettendorf News, and is the house Freedom of Information Act geek. A Rock Island native, she joined the Times in 2016.