O'Donnell, Haddaway-Riccio re-elected to GOP House leadership

Del. Anthony J. O'Donnell was re-elected to a sixth term as the House GOP leader Tuesday, putting to rest any questions about an insurrection in his caucus.

O'Donnell, of Calvert and St. Mary's counties, said his caucus would play defense this session, trying to "stop damage to our economy" that he believes Gov. Martin O'Malley and the Democratic led legislature will unleash. 

He called the idea of increasing the gas tax "offensive" and "so out of sync with where we find oursevles." O'Malley has said he will consider an increase to the tax to fund a massive public works program aimed at jolting the construction industry and creating jobs.

O'Donnell is also running for Congress, challenging U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer, the House Minority Whip.

Over the fall Del. Nick Kipke, a Anne Arundel County Republican, floated the idea of challenging O'Donnell's leadership saying that the caucus could use some fresh ideas. Rather than standing in the way, Kipke nominated O'Donnell at Tuesday's meeting.

Also re-elected Tuesday was Del. Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, who will again be House GOP Whip.

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