O'Donnell to take on Hoyer
** Updated with MD Democratic Party response
Maryland's House Minority Leader Anthony O'Donnell made it official: He's definitely taking on U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer in the 2012 election.
"Frankly, I'm sickened by and exhausted from the attitude of so many politicians that our families can and should be the ones to sacrifice," says O'Donnell on an online video declaring his candidacy. "They don't seem to understand how hard it is to make ends meet these days. It is time for the government to make some sacrifices and pay attention to the people."
In the video, he rails against the stimulus plan and associates Hoyer with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, saying that their voting records are nearly identical. (The two Democratic politicians are in fact longtime rivals within the party.)
O'Donnell floated the idea of running for Congress last month, delighting a room full of state Republicans at the Maryland GOP convention with the news. He said that he would continue in his leadership post in the Maryland House of Delegates if he decided to challenge Hoyer.
O'Donnell represents Calvert and St. Mary's counties and was first elected to Maryland's General Assembly in 1994.
In the 2010 election O'Donnell's GOP caucus grew by six members, one of the few bright spots in an election year where Maryland Republicans were trounced at the top of the ticket. The body still remains overwhelmingly Democratic.