U.S. Rep. David Rouzer faces primary opposition in his bid for reelection.
The first-term congressman from McGee’s Crossroads will square off March 15 against fellow Republican Mark Otto of the Cleveland community.
Otto, who filed Dec. 21 and held a campaign kickoff Jan. 2, said Rouzer wasn’t conservative enough for him. He especially faulted the congressman for backing the $1.1 trillion spending build that cleared Congress in December.
“I feel completely betrayed,” Otto said. “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 sided with 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.”
Otto said Rouzer had become part of the problem, not the solution. “My intent is sincerely not to paint David as the world’s worst congressman because, in fact, Washington is filled with politicians who embrace the establishment,” he said. “But that only serves to reinforce what motivates me to take on this challenge.
“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.”
Otto was a credit analyst with SYSCO Food Services from 1997-2011. He now umpires baseball on the collegiate level and is a basketball, football and volleyball referee on the high school level. His wife, Beth, is a teacher and curriculum coach at Polenta Elementary School. They have three sons, Erich, 15, Haddon, 12, and Jackson, 8.
The winner of the March primary will face Democrat Wesley Casteen in November. The Wilmington attorney and accountant challenged Rouzer two years as a Libertarian; he has since switched parties.
“The intense focus on political parties is unfortunate,” Casteen said in a news release. “Few voters support every element of any party platform, and most voters do not want a mouthpiece for a political party. They want a representative of the people, and I look forward to representing all of the residents of the 7th District.”