dr martens 2976 George O’Donnell

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Just a few of the 120 supporters who turned out for George O’Donnell’s fundraiser Thursday, Feb. 6, at Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse, in Grasonville are shown here. From the left, Queen Anne’s County Sheriff Gary Hofmann, State’s Attorney Lance Richardson, Kathy Deoudes, O’Donnell, Hospice of Queen Anne’s Executive Director Heather Guerieri, and former Queen Anne’s County Commissioners Marlene Davis and Mike Zimmer. O’Donnell is running for Register of Wills, a post which is open for the first time in 28 years with the retirement of longtime Register Winsie Cannon. O’Donnell served previously as county commissioner and most recently as Orphans Court judge.

Just a few of the 120 supporters who turned out for George O’Donnell’s fundraiser Thursday, Feb. 6, at Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse, in Grasonville are shown here. From the left, Queen Anne’s County Sheriff Gary Hofmann, State’s Attorney Lance Richardson, Kathy Deoudes, O’Donnell, Hospice of Queen Anne’s Executive Director Heather Guerieri, and former Queen Anne’s County Commissioners Marlene Davis and Mike Zimmer. O’Donnell is running for Register of Wills, a post which is open for the first time in 28 years with the retirement of longtime Register Winsie Cannon. O’Donnell served previously as county commissioner and most recently as Orphans Court judge.

CENTREVILLE Queen Anne’s County native, two time former county commissioner and most recently elected Orphans Court Judge George O’Donnell (Republican) has filed to run for the county’s Register of Wills seat, which after the past 28 years is being vacated by longtime Register of Wills Winsie Cannon.

“No one can replace Winsie,” said O’Donnell. “We can only find a successor. Winsie has been, literally, an angel to so many people.”

Of the candidates who have filed to run for Register of Wills, O’Donnell said he is the only one to has worked with Cannon and “her exceptional staff” as part of his duties as Orphans Court judge, a position he has now resigned from to run for another office, as required by law.

The Register of Wills is required to help people file their formal will within the county and execute said will after the person dies. Put simply, the Register of Wills office sees that the wishes of the deceased as expressed in their will are executed.

O’Donnell said he wants to continue the good work of Cannon and her staff’s competent administration.

Following his graduation of Queen Anne’s County High School in 1975, O’Donnell has served the residents of the county in various elected positions for more than 25 years. He has received numerous awards and recognitions for excellence in government over those years, including the 1993 J. Millard Tawes Award for exceptional performance in protecting the Maryland Marine Environment; the Red Cross Humanitarian Award and the Governor’s Volunteer Citation.

Committed to maintaining cultural heritage, O’Donnell founded the Queen Anne’s County Waterman’s Festival and was the founder of the Maryland Waterman’s Monument, located at Kent Narrows. A former waterman, O’Donnell has a long history of service to waterman in Maryland as both an appointed and elected representative to various related committees.

To enhance his work with Orphans Court, he studied at the Judicial Institute of Maryland (Probate and Estate law). He is a graduate of the 2001 University of Maryland fellowship program for Excellence in Local Government.

O’Donnell would like to expand the Register of Wills office by offering public outreach programs to inform citizens of the office’s services and the benefits of having a will.

“Why would anyone want to deny a person of their final wish?” O”Donnell said. “Having a will is an inexpensive document, and people need to know that.”

Longtime Republican Kathy Deoudes said, “I support George in his run for Register of Wills as I believe him to be a person of honesty and integrity, and someone who truly has Queen Anne’s county in his heart and soul. He has demonstrated his willingness to work hard and serve our community.”

Former County Commissioners Mike Zimmer and Marlene Davis also support O’Donnell.

Zimmer said, “In the job of Register of Wills, I believe that one of the most important considerations is compassion. In all the years I have known George, he has always put the needs of his fellow citizens above his own, always going the extra mile. Unlike his opponents, George has invested the last four years serving as Judge of Orphans Court learning and understanding the process. This experience is invaluable to the position of Register of Wills.”

Davis said, “With his expertise and surrounding himself with pertinent information, I feel George will be an asset to the office. He has been in continuous contact with the Register of Wills office as Orphans Court Judge, and knows exactly what will be expected of him.”
dr martens 2976 George O'Donnell