Sunday, November 19, 2017
Politics

Political newcomer 'EJ' Otero to take on U.S. Rep Kathy Castor

RECOMMENDED READING


TAMPA — Political newcomer Evelio "EJ" Otero Jr. easily defeated Eddie Adams Jr. in Tuesday's Republican primary for U.S. House District 14, and now faces U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor.

In a district that includes parts of Tampa, St. Petersburg and coastal east Hillsborough County, Otero took 60 percent of the 19,957 votes cast and beat Adams by a margin of about 4,100.

Otero overwhelmingly carried Hillsborough precincts, which account for 86 percent of District 14's voting-age population.

"It's humbling," Otero, 51, a retired colonel who served 28 years in the Air Force, said in a gathering with friends, family and supporters.

"It is an honor to have the opportunity to present new ideas for constituents in the Tampa Bay area. One of the things I did was listen carefully to folks.

"There was a sense of frustration I detected. They just wanted someone to talk to them about new ideas."

Adams, 58, could not be reached for comment.

The race pit Otero, a political novice with little name recognition, against Adams, a veteran of four previous unsuccessful campaigns, including three attempts at incumbent Castor's seat.

Both Otero and Adams said during the campaign that they knew it would be a formidable challenge to unseat her in November's general election.

Otero's first challenge against Castor will be money.

Despite being a political rookie, Otero far outpaced Adams in fundraising. As of June 30, Otero had raised $72,746 to Adams' $225.

But Castor, who faced no Democratic primary, has nearly $800,000 in her treasury.

Adams, of Temple Terrace, had never come close to unseating Castor. She beat him by about 40 percentage points in 2006 and 2008. In 2010, he lost the GOP primary to Mike Prendergast in the Republican primary.

Adams' first run for office was an unsuccessful bid for Temple Terrace City Council, running as a Democrat. Adams, the grandson of a Baptist preacher, said he decided the switch parties after that loss because he found his political philosophy better matched the GOP.

Otero, of Tampa, had worked 14 years at MacDill Air Force Base, including stints at U.S. Central Command and Special Operations Command, which spearheaded the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A political science and journalism major at Iowa State University, Otero also has a master's degree from the Air War College.

William R. Levesque can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
As clock ticks on tax bill, White House signals a compromise

As clock ticks on tax bill, White House signals a compromise

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, said Sunday that the White House is willing to remove a contentious provision taking aim at the Affordable Care Act from the GOP tax overhaul plan if politically necessary, a move ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Many Christian conservatives are backing Alabama’s Roy Moore

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Alabama’s Christian conservatives see Roy Moore as their champion. He has battled federal judges and castigated liberals, big government, gun control, Muslims, homosexuality and anything else that doesn’t fit the evangelical mold. ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Senate ethics, relatively silent, could face busy year

Senate ethics, relatively silent, could face busy year

WASHINGTON — It’s been nearly six years since the Senate Ethics Committee conducted a major investigation of a sitting senator. Next year, the panel could be working nonstop, deciding the fate of up to three lawmakers, including two facing allegation...
Published: 11/18/17
Hillsborough seeks payback for ethics complaint but history shows that could be pricey

Hillsborough seeks payback for ethics complaint but history shows that could be pricey

TAMPA — Hillsborough County commissioners recently decided to go after the pocketbooks of several residents who filed unsuccessful ethics complaints against one of their colleagues.If history is any indicator, the maneuver is more likely to cost taxp...
Updated: 1 hour ago
In struggling upstate New York cities, refugees vital to rebirth

In struggling upstate New York cities, refugees vital to rebirth

UTICA, N.Y.Pat Marino pulled into the shop on a cold, wet Thursday and stood close as a young mechanic with gelled-up hair and earrings lifted the truck and ducked underneath."You need a little bit more oil," the mechanic said."Five quarts wasn’t eno...
Published: 11/17/17
Updated: 11/18/17
As sex scandals topple the powerful: Why not Trump?

As sex scandals topple the powerful: Why not Trump?

WASHINGTON — "You can do anything," Donald Trump once boasted, speaking of groping and kissing unsuspecting women. Maybe he could, but not everyone can. The man who openly bragged about grabbing women’s private parts — but denied he really did so — w...
Published: 11/17/17
Allegations against Alabama’s Roy Moore dividing GOP women

Allegations against Alabama’s Roy Moore dividing GOP women

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Standing on the white marble steps of Alabama’s Capitol, Kayla Moore surrounded herself with two dozen other women Friday to defend husband Roy Moore against accusations of sexual misconduct that are dividing Republicans, and women...
Published: 11/17/17
Franken apologizes to woman who says he kissed, groped her

Franken apologizes to woman who says he kissed, groped her

WASHINGTON — Minnesota Sen. Al Franken personally apologized to the woman who has accused him of forcibly kissing her and groping her during a 2006 USO tour, saying he remembers their encounter differently but is "ashamed that my actions ruined that ...
Published: 11/17/17
Negative mailers trace back to campaign of state House candidate who denies them

Negative mailers trace back to campaign of state House candidate who denies them

An 87-year-old widow from Melbourne, a mysterious direct mail company in tiny Buffalo, Wyo., and a tangled web of political committees all were linked to the onslaught of negative mailers that helped Lawrence McClure win the Republican primary in Pla...
Published: 11/17/17

10,000 more FBI records unsealed from JFK assassination files

DALLAS — Yet again, the National Archives released a trove of records from the Kennedy assassination files on a Friday afternoon, another strange stream of loose ends, dead ends and tangents with little apparent connection to the assassination of the...
Published: 11/17/17