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Fri Aug 28, 2015, 11:29 PM

O'Malley Woos Supporters at MN State Fair

From St. Paul Pioneer Press:

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley was the only Democratic presidential candidate who showed up at the Minnesota State Fair on Friday after the Democratic National Committee meeting in Minneapolis, and while he remains largely unknown in the state, he received an enthusiastic reception from about 100 fairgoers who packed into the state DFL Party booth to hear him speak.

Delivering a 10-minute stump talk, O'Malley received noisy ovations when he called for raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, paid family leave, debt-free college degrees and reining in "Wall Street excesses."

Like many in the crowd, Northwestern University student Cole Birkland of New Richland, Wis., said he is sizing up all the candidates before choosing one to back. He didn't know much about O'Malley, he said, "but I'm all ears."

After the candidate spoke, Birkland said, "I liked it a lot. I'm going to volunteer to work on his campaign." Then he picked up a campaign poster, had O'Malley autograph it and posed for a photo with the candidate.

O'Malley fielded questions from the crowd for about 10 minutes, then shook hands with everyone who lined up to meet him before moving on to the Farmers Union booth, where he serenaded a crowd by singing "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" and "This Land is Your Land.

While O'Malley made a splash at the DFL booth, volunteers for Hillary Rodham Clinton and Bernie Sanders staffed tables where they were signing up dozens of people to commit to their candidates and volunteer for the campaigns. They were the only Democratic candidates with a presence at the booth.

Across the aisle, the DFL Party was doing a brisk business selling campaign buttons. "Bernie" pins were outselling "Hillary" buttons by roughly a 2-to-1 margin, a DFL staffer reported.

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