Wednesday, April 16, 2014


We have heard the rumor enough times by now to wonder aloud what it will be like if it is true that John Otto will not seek another term as state representative.

First and foremost for me, I would like to congratulate John for a job well done and thank him for making us proud of his public service. Years ago when we knew the tide had turned and that Liberty County would open the floodgates and elect republicans the next election, I called John and asked him to attend the Republican’s state convention. In my mind, he was the best candidate to defeat the democrats and become the first Republican state representative from here in over 100 years. John attended that convention (though it may have been in spite of my invitation rather than because of it). And he did indeed become our state representative.

With John Otto’s first term voters found a public servant that wasn’t just going toAustin to witness what was going on in the state legislature, but rather he was there to make a difference. No matter whether you are a big John Otto fan or not, you have to agree he was not, he was a voice most of the time for conservatives in this area. John’s participation replaced years of the memories of Zeb Zbranek’s echoing his fellow Democrats with his votes and coming home to report what Democrats were doing in the state’s government. Or should I say what they were doing to us through state government. John also replaced the shorter memory of Dan Ellis’ representation which was very much a strattled fence approach to changing politics. Dan seemed to want to be a strong voice for Democrats when they were in power and a strong voice for Republicans when a candidate could no longer win as a democrat. Thanks for running John! Thanks for helping us gain respect for this area and improve the state during your tenure in office.

Of course, with the rise in the fortunes of Republicans in this area, John also did some things he may not have liked but voters should always value. John woke up conservatives in the area to the idea of public service and what could be done in theTexas’ House of Representatives. Therefore, he had challengers. Competition for elected positions offers the voters choices and sometimes deepens the pool from where candidates for all offices come. In John’s case, he defeated both ……. and Terry ……, but the voters gained by this kind of competition. Though challengers to successful incumbents are often labeled out of the mainstream, both these men remain active and worth listening to as the Republican party evolves with time. It is good for Liberty to have the same choices the most active areas in the country have. It is good for our voters to consider the ideas a more libertarian ad more conservative candidate has. John won against these men by healthy margins, but his races were always good for the district.

Looking at John’s record and the things he was focused on in Austin, voters may have not always agreed with him but in the final analysis they gave him a big thumbs up. And if it is true his final days as our representative are numbered, I give the Aggie a big thumbs up too. Thanks John, you done good.
One of the most prized qualities many of us conservatives hold dear in an election, is the freedom to choose among a good field of candidates and the hope that our elected officials will serve with honor and not serve for too long a period of time where it becomes a career. With congratulations to John, here is to the Republican voters in our county: “Congratulations, we are on a roll. Let’s encourage more good talented folks to put their name on the ballot and offer their services. We no longer have to be represented by who the local Democrat elite nominate and we know Republicans do not have a pass the baton mentality. More good times are ahead!

By Editor, Richard Pegues

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