Q&A With Tony O'Donnell, U.S. House of Representatives Congressional Candidate
Tony O'Donnell is running as a Republican candidate seeking to represent Maryland's 5th Congressional District.
Tony O’Donnell is currently the Minority Leader in the Maryland House of Delegates representing District 29C covering southern Calvert County and Central St Mary’s County. He is running for Congress this fall as a Republican candidate seeking to represent Maryland’s 5th Congressional District.
He is a Navy veteran with more than eight years of service, where he gained experience as an operator and instructor in the use of nuclear-powered reactors. After the Navy, he worked at the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant and served as a supervisor in the control technician field, as well as a maintenance engineering technician and director of emergency preparedness for the plant. In 1994, at the age of 33, O’Donnell was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates representing District 29-C. Since that time, he has earned many leadership positions including serving as the House Minority Leader. He currently is a member of the House Environmental Matters Committee.
He is active in the local community and his church. O’Donnell and his wife Lori have three children and two grandchildren.
Patch did a Q&A with O’Donnell. Below are his responses to some of the hot legislative topics important to voters in District 5.
Patch: Would you support the federal DREAM Act, similar to the Maryland DREAM Act, which would provide conditional permanent, residence to illegal immigrants who meet specific criteria, including arriving in the U.S. as minors, living in the U.S. for five or more years, and graduating from a U.S. high school, and could lead to eventual permanent residency after completing some college or military service? Please explain your position.
Tony O'Donnell: No I would not. The first thing that must be done is to secure the nation’s borders so they are not continually crossed by people entering the nation in a manner which breaks U.S. law. If we provide rewards or incentives to those who have come here by breaking our laws, we will encourage the behavior. Congressman Hoyer has done very little to secure our nation’s borders during his 31 plus years in office. I would make securing our national borders a priority. Only then can we begin a rational discussion of immigration policy. I also believe that failure to secure our national borders makes us more susceptible to illegal drug trafficking and related violence, and it also makes us more vulnerable to international terrorists entering our country undetected.
Patch: Do you support the Defense of Marriage Act, or do you support legalizing same-sex marriage at the federal level? Please explain your position.
O'Donnell: I support maintaining the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman as currently defined at the state level in Maryland. The federal government does not currently define marriage per our constitution, as this authority resides with the states.
Patch: Do you identify as pro-choice or as pro-life, and why?
O'Donnell: I am pro-life.
Patch: The interest rate on federal student loans had been set to double to 6.8, but was recently frozen by Congress at 3.4 percent for one more year. Please explain your position on this temporary freeze?
O'Donnell: I believe the temporary freeze was indicated in these very uncertain economic times. In the long run, however, the most important support we can give to those attending and graduating from college is the opportunity to get a job. If we cannot provide an economy that is producing jobs for college graduates, they won’t be able to pay off their student loans regardless of the interest rates attached to those loans.
If you have any further questions for O'Donnell, you can contact his campaign communications director, Deborah C. Rey at 301-997-4183 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out Bowie Patch's Election Guide for more information on candidates and issues in the 2012 election.