Tony O’Donnell, the Republican Leader of the Maryland House of Delegates, today announced his candidacy for Maryland’s fifth congressional district seat. 

In a video statement  O’Donnell said he “believed in personal freedoms, individual responsibility, common sense and that hard work should be rewarded.” He linked his 31 year incumbent opponent, Steny Hoyer, to “politicians in Washington who have lost touch with hard working families.”

O’Donnell, a Navy veteran, said Hoyer’s voting record was almost identical to former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco. “But we live on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, not the western shore of San Francisco Bay, “said O’Donnell.

O’Donnell has represented portions of Calvert and St. Mary’s Counties in the Maryland House of Delegates since 1995. He has been the Republican leader of the House since 2007. O’Donnell has been outspoken in his opposition to Governor O’Malley’s spending proposals and tax increases. He led the fight against the 2007 20% increase in Maryland’s sales tax. He is opposed to the current proposal to increase Maryland’s gasoline tax by 15 cents per gallon, to legalizing gay marriage and to giving reduced in state tuition rates to the children of illegal immigrants. 

“I have no intention of standing idly by while our out of touch politicians play partisan games which destroy those values one-by-one,” said O’Donnell. 

O’Donnell pledged a campaign that would “allow people in the five county district to understand this is a choice between Tony O’Donnell’s common sense values borne of hard work and Steny Hoyer’s lobbyists laden trail of favors for the monied special interests. I want to create an economic environment that will produce good paying jobs for the citizens of the 5th District, Maryland and the United States as a whole.”