A member of the Democratic Party, Martin O'Malley has been a prominent political figure in Maryland for many years. He rose to become the state's top elected official and its most populous city.

More recently, O'Malley has returned to life as a private citizen. In the meantime, the U.S. Social Security Administration, headquartered in Maryland, needs a permanent leader. The vacancy might be on its way to being filled.

Biden names O'Malley as his nominee

U.S. President Joe Biden has tapped Martin O'Malley to become the Social Security Administration commissioner.

The SSA has been under the direction of acting Commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi for quite some time. Biden had dismissed her predecessor, Andrew Saul after he refused to resign from the position.

The next commissioner of the SSA would be taking over at a critical time. Relied upon by many Americans, Social Security is expected to begin running out of money before long. Unless reforms are implemented, significant changes would almost certainly require Congressional approval, but the agency can try to do what it can.

Biden indicated he believes O'Malley can help do such a thing. Saying he's "a public servant who has spent his career making government more accessible and transparent" in part. Biden also said O'Malley "made government work more effectively across his administration" as Maryland governor.

O'Malley would need to be confirmed as commissioner by the United States Senate. At least one critical member of the Senate seems to support the nomination –Ron Wyden of Oregon, the Senate Committee on Finance chairman. O'Malley does not technically need the approval of U.S. House of Representatives members. But it may be helpful that he also has the backing of a key member there.

In this case, Massachusetts' Richard Neal, the ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

He began his electoral career in Baltimore

Martin O'Malley first ran for elected office in 1990. In the Democratic primary for the Maryland Senate, he challenged incumbent John A. Pica. He lost by less than 50 votes. O'Malley was elected to the first of two terms on the Baltimore City Council the following year.

In 1999, O'Malley won the race to be mayor of Baltimore after incumbent Kurth Schmoke opted not to run. He was re-elected in 2004. Two years later, he was elected governor of Maryland, defeating Republican incumbent Bob Ehrlich. In a 2010 re-match, O'Malley was victorious by a wide margin.

State law barred O'Malley from seeking another gubernatorial term in 2014. Republican Larry Hogan emerged as the winner of the campaign. In 2016, O'Malley was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States.

They had been a Congressional staffer

Martin O'Malley is a native of Washington, D.C. His World War II veteran father had been an assistant U.S. attorney there. His mother was an aide for U.S.

Senator Barbara Mikulski. O'Malley's maternal grandfather had been a local political figure in Allen County, Indiana.

The future governor graduated from Gonzaga College High School. He later earned degrees from the Catholic University of America and the University of Maryland School of Law. Along the way, O'Malley did work for the 1984 presidential campaign of Colorado U.S. Senator Gary Hart. As well as for then-U.S. Representative Mikulski in her Senate campaign. After her successful election, he joined her Senate staff.

Eventually, O'Malley was hired as an assistant state's attorney. He was also prominent in Nebraska U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey's presidential campaign.

O'Malley married Katie Curran in 1990. Katie is the daughter of former Maryland Lieutenant Governor J. Joseph Currant Jr. She would become a state court judge in her own right. The couple have four children.