Don H. Dwyer Jr.

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Don H. Dwyer Jr.
Don H. Dwyer, Jr. (2007).jpg
Member of the Maryland House of Delegates
from the 31st district
In office
January 8, 2003 – January 14, 2015
Succeeded by Meagan C. Simonaire & Nicholaus R. Kipke
Constituency Annapolis, Maryland
Personal details
Born (1958-02-11) February 11, 1958 (age 59)
Annapolis, Maryland[1]
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Cheryl
Children Ashley, Jennifer, Gregg
Residence Glen Burnie, Maryland
Occupation Politician
Religion Presbyterian[2]

Don H. Dwyer Jr. (born February 11, 1958) is an American politician and former member of the Maryland House of Delegates. He has served the 31st District of Anne Arundel County since 2003. A member of the Republican Party, Dwyer is known for his conservative positions on certain issues, including outspoken opposition to same-sex marriage in Maryland.[3][4] He was reelected by 25 votes in the November 2006 election and reelected again in 2010. He was defeated in the June, 2014 Republican primary, thought to be largely due to his legal troubles.[5]

Alcohol-related legal issues[edit]

Dwyer has admitted to drinking on a "pretty regular" basis, beginning at the end of the 2011 legislative session.[6] He has also spoken of attending counseling sessions and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings to cope with alcohol dependency.[6]

On August 22, 2012, Dwyer was operating a motorboat on the Magothy River when he collided with another vessel, seriously injuring himself, John Moran IV, his companion and former police officer,[6] and five others.[7] Among the others injured were three children, including a 5-year old girl who fractured her skull.[6] Dwyer's blood alcohol content tested three times the legal limit of 0.08.[6][8] He admitted to operating the boat under the influence at a news conference held outside Maryland Shock Trauma, adding that he regretted his actions.[7] On August 6, 2013, Dwyer pleaded guilty to the charges but appealed his 30-day jail sentence.[9] The sentence was ultimately upheld after a further incident in August 2013, in which Dwyer was stopped and arrested for a DUI. He received an additional 30 day sentence for that offense.[10]

Dwyer claimed his drinking that led to the boat accident was a result of marital problems and feeling betrayed by fellow lawmakers who supported legislation in favor of same-sex marriage in Maryland. Dwyer said "I felt a tremendous amount of pressure in my family. You take those personal issues [and] add betrayal on the professional side, and it really gets to be overwhelming."[11]

Early on the morning of August 20, 2013, Dwyer was pulled over by an Anne Arundel County sheriff's deputy in his 2001 Cadillac DeVille for suspected intoxication. After showing signs of alcohol intoxication, failing field sobriety tests, and refusing a to submit to a breathalyzer examination, he was arrested and transported to the Eastern District for booking.[12]

Political fundraising[edit]

At a May 2013 fundraiser for his political campaign, Rep. Dwyer hosted an auction of assault weapons during a "Gun Rights and Liberty BBQ".[13]

Election results[edit]

  • 2010 Race for Maryland House of Delegates – 31st District[14]
Voters to choose three:
Name Votes Percent Outcome
Nic Kipke, Rep. 24,143   21.96%    Won
Steve Schuh, Rep. 22,805   20.74%    Won
Don Dwyer Jr., Rep. 22,452   20.42%    Won
Jeremiah Chiappelli, Dem. 12,943   11.77%    Lost
Justin M. Towles, Dem. 11,968   10.89%    Lost
Robert L. Eckert, Dem. 11,856   10.78%    Lost
Other Write-Ins 105   0.1%    
  • 2006 Race for Maryland House of Delegates – 31st District[15]
Voters to choose three:
Name Votes Percent Outcome
Steve Schuh, Rep. 19,049   18.4%    Won
Nic Kipke, Rep. 18,150   17.5%    Won
Don Dwyer Jr., Rep. 17,558   17.0%    Won
Joan Cadden, Dem. 17,533   16.9%    Lost
Thomas J. Fleckenstein, Dem. 16,654   16.1%    Lost
Craig A. Reynolds, Dem. 14,454   14.0%    Lost
Other Write-Ins 58   0.1%    
  • 2002 Race for Maryland House of Delegates – District 31[16]
Voters to choose three:
Name Votes Percent Outcome
John R. Leopold, Rep. 24,937   24.31%    Won
Joan Cadden, Dem. 16,906   16.48%    Won
Don Dwyer Jr., Rep. 16,807   16.39%    Won
Thomas R. Gardner, Rep. 15,321   14.94%    Lost
Mary Rosso, Dem. 15,127   14.75%    Lost
Thomas J. Fleckenstein, Dem. 13,404   13.07%    Lost


  1. ^ "Don H. Dwyer Jr. - House of Delegates". Maryland State Archives. Retrieved August 26, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Representative Don H. Dwyer, Jr.". VoteSmart. Retrieved August 26, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Don Dwyer calls himself "the face of the opposition" to same-sex marriage.". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved February 7, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Maryland's Don Dwyer Claims Gay Marriage Supporters Have Perjured Themselves". On Top Magazine. Retrieved February 7, 2012. 
  5. ^ Sauers, Elisha; Bottalico, Brandi; Read, Zoe (25 June 2014). "Dwyer loses House seat in 31B; Simonaire advances". Maryland Gazette. Archived from the original on 30 June 2014. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Prudente, Tim (January 14, 2013). "Dwyer discusses drinking and recovery". Maryland Gazette. Archived from the original on January 14, 2013. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Rector, Kevin (August 23, 2012). "Del. Dwyer admits to drinking in Arundel boating accident". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved August 24, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Md. Del. Dwyer acknowledges drinking before operating boat that struck another, injuring kids". Associated Press via The Washington Post. August 23, 2012. Retrieved August 24, 2012. [dead link]
  9. ^ Wagner, John (August 20, 2013). "Maryland Politics". The Washington Post. 
  10. ^ "Don Dwyer sentenced to 60 days in jail |". WJLA-TV. October 25, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Drunken Republican Says It Was Gay Marriage That Made Him Operate Vehicles Under The Influence". August 24, 2012. Retrieved August 24, 2012. 
  12. ^ Delegate Dwyer Arrested On DUI Charge, Eye on Annapolis, Retrieved August 20, 2013
  13. ^ Serino, Louis. "Maryland delegate raffles off two assault weapons in fundraiser". Retrieved April 12, 2013. 
  14. ^ "House of Delegates Results". Maryland State Board of Elections.  Retrieved on August 25, 2012
  15. ^ "House of Delegates Results". Maryland State Board of Elections.  Retrieved on Aug 12, 2007
  16. ^ "House of Delegates Results". Maryland State Board of Elections.  Retrieved on Nov 13, 2007

External links[edit]