Former Congressional District Republican Party Chairman Mark Otto from Johnston County filed Monday morning for the US House District 7 seat and will challenge incumbent Representative David Rouzer, a McGee’s Crossroads residents.
Otto was joined by his wife and three children in Raleigh where he officially filed at the NC Board of Elections Office. Otto, a conservative Republican, says he felt obligated to run after Republicans in congress helped pass the $1.1 trillion omnibus bill quietly negotiated by Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and new Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan.
“Conservative voters are finding our stockings stuffed with coal this Christmas, courtesy of Nancy Pelosi, Paul Ryan and the establishment Republicans in congress,” said Otto. “I feel completely betrayed. Despite my successful efforts to help Renee Ellmers defeat Bob Etheridge in 2010 and then to help elect David Rouzer in 2014, both Rouzer and Ellmers caved to pressure from the political establishment and voted to pass the atrocious omnibus spending package that funds Planned Parenthood, quadruples the number of foreign workers taking American jobs, fails to provide much-needed safeguards to vet Muslim refugees coming to our communities from known terrorist nations and adds nearly a trillion dollars to the national debt. I am taking a stand, dammit!”
Otto was the Republican Party Chairman of the Second Congressional District in 2010, assisting Ellmers to defeat incumbent congressman Bob Etheridge. His was the only district of either party in North Carolina to successfully unseat a sitting congressman that year. After redistricting placed Otto in the seventh district, he supported David Rouzer’s campaign for congress in 2014, knocking on doors, handing out literature and making phone calls from his home on David’s behalf.
“My intent is sincerely not to paint David as the world’s worst congressman because, in fact, Washington is filled with politicians who emphatically embrace the establishment, but that only serves to reinforce what motivates me to take on this challenge,” said Otto. “It’s time to end politics as usual and change the way the political process operates. I plan to do just that, despite the personal political consequences I am certain to face from those who will do and spend whatever it takes to preserve the establishment and attempt to derail my campaign.”
Mark lives in the Cleveland community of Johnston County. His wife, Beth, is a teacher and curriculum coach at Polenta Elementary. They have been married for sixteen years. Mark and Beth have three sons, Erich (15), Haddon (12), and Jackson (8).
North Carolina’s 7th congressional district stretches from Wilmington area and the South Carolina border to the southern suburbs of Raleigh, covering Johnston, Sampson, Duplin, Bladen, Columbus, and Brunswick Counties as well as parts of Lenoir, Pender, New Hanover, Hoke, and Cumberland Counties.
Rouzer filed for re-election for a second term earlier this month.