Brad Jewitt, Republican candidate for the 5th Congressional District seat, which represents Southern Maryland, received a boost from state and local GOP officials Friday at a fundraiser in Calvert County at the Twin Shields Golf Club.

Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. was a co-host of the event. Also participating were state Del. Anthony J. O'Donnell (Calvert) and Calvert County Commissioners David F. Hale and Susan Shaw.

Jewitt is seeking to unseat Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.).

Ehrlich endorsed Jewitt in a speech that noted the difficulties of defeating an incumbent and recalled his campaign for governor in 2002, when he faced an uphill battle against then-lieutenant governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (D).

"There is a difference between 'difficult' and 'impossible,' " Ehrlich said, joking that he has finally come to the realization that he'll never be a starting pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles. "But beating Steny Hoyer is not impossible," he said, according to the Jewitt campaign.

O'Donnell questioned Hoyer's commitment to Southern Maryland, according to a statement released by the Jewitt campaign, which quoted O'Donnell as saying, "Steny Hoyer has been gallivanting around the country trying to elect people to Congress who don't represent our values" instead of focusing on the needs of his district.

In his role as House Democratic whip, Hoyer often campaigns for his party's congressional candidates around the nation.