A flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., and a Congressional Commendation honoring the life of the late Texas State Rep. John Otto were presented on Tuesday during the regular meeting of Liberty County Commissioners Court. The presentation was made by Will Carter, regional director of community relations for U.S. Rep. Brian Babin (TX-36).
Reading remarks that Babin made on Aug. 7 before the U.S. House of Representatives, Carter paid tribute to the life of Otto, who died on Aug. 1 after a brave battle with pancreatic cancer.
Otto served six terms on the Texas House of Representatives for District 18 before retiring. During his time as state representative, he sat on numerous committees during that time, the most notably being chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. During his final legislative session, he drafted and authored a bill that balanced the State budget of more than $200 billion.
“During his tenure in the Texas Legislature, Rep. Otto received numerous awards and distinctions. During his first term, Otto was named ‘Freshman of the Year by the House Republican Caucus, ‘Rookie of the Year’ by Texas Monthly magazine and ‘Most Valuable Freshman’ by Capitol Inside. In 2008, he earned the ‘Legislative Achievement Award’ from the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association,” Carter said. “He was also named ‘One of the 10 Best Legislators in Texas’ by Texas Monthly in 2008 and 2015. Representative Otto additionally also received the ‘Citizen of the Year’ award from the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, ‘Fighter for Free Enterprise’ award from the Texas Association of Business and named to the Texas PTA Legislative Honor Roll.”
In later years of life, he served as the Assistant Vice Chancellor and Director of Local Government Relations for the Texas A&M University System.
In June, Dayton City Council renamed a portion of SH 146 as the John Otto Expressway in recognition to the citizens of Dayton. A couple of days before Otto’s death, the City of Dayton unveiled the signs via a video linked to the City’s Facebook page.
Liberty County Judge Jay Knight said that Otto, a Dayton native, was a lifelong friend to Liberty County and its residents.
The flag and Congressional commendation presented in the Liberty County Commissioners Court meeting will be given to Otto’s wife of 50 years, Nancy.
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