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The Texas Blue
Advancing Progressive Ideas

On The Record: Dr. Ludwig Otto

For this episode of On The Record, we speak with Dr. Ludwig Otto, Democratic candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in Congressional District 6.

What prompted you to run for public office?

My students prompted me to run for Congress. My students range in age from 17 to 70 and from very wealthy to very poor. Most of them are between 30 to 35 years of age and are first time college students who work full time and are part-time college students. They struggle with many of the same problems that we all face: balancing work, family, and school.

They are, however, more vocal in their concerns. They do not have health insurance and they are concerned about jobs sent overseas. They do not understand how Exxon can have record profits, yet gasoline prices approach $4 per gallon. They do not understand how the war in Iraq can cost 12 billion dollars per month and yet some students cannot afford tuition and books for education. That is why I am running for Congress. I am 74 years old and owe my country the opportunity to correct some of these inequities.

What would you say are the primary issues concerning your area?

I have worked as a paid consultant for the Fort Worth Housing Authority, North Texas Regional Library System, Texas Woman’s University, Dallas County Mental Health Mental Retardation, Tarrant County Mental Health Mental Retardation, Tarrant County AFL/CIO Labor Union, University of Dallas, and Saint Mary’s High School.

I have worked as a volunteer for the Sickle Cell Foundation, American Cancer Society, and the Union Gospel Mission.

In addition, I have taught at Our Lady of the Lake University (Irving Campus), DeVry University, Collin County Community College, El Centro College, Paul Quinn College, University of Texas at Arlington, Concordia University, Columbia College, North Lake College, and Tarrant County College.

I know the issues of this area through working involvement with the challenges people face, like healthcare, immigration, jobs, the economy, taxes, environment, housing and education

What are your qualifications for the position for which you are running?

I have been a practical, creative strategist all of my life. I enlisted in the National Guard at the earliest possible age and was commissioned an Infantry Officer and Heavy Weapons Platoon Leader. My Honorable Discharge was received as an officer with the U.S. Army Reserve. It was as an infantry officer that I learned the importance of commitment and the responsibility of leadership. These qualities are essential to being an effective Congressman.

In 1959, at 25 years of age, NCR, the third largest computer company in the world, gave me the responsibility to hire and train computer programmers, and oversee the successful installation of the 400 System 390 computers. I developed a strategy and successfully installed all computer systems.

In 1962, I transferred to one of the worst computer sales offices in NCR history. I developed a strategy and sold more computers than the Houston, Texas office had ever sold before. NCR was a great place to work and it taught me to accept challenges and not to be frightened of opportunities. These qualities are essential to being an effective Congressman.

In 1966, I founded a computer conglomerate (employment service, education, franchising, publishing, and finance) with a $1000 investment and within 3 years, we had 12 offices with full time employees in six states and the Dominican Republic. A few years later, I sold my interest in the business. Since then I have owned two insurance agencies that I started with zero cash and sold both for a profit.

I served as Senior Pastor of four Southern Baptist Churches in Texas that have grown in attendance and spiritually. In addition, I have taught a variety of subjects at various colleges. Today I serve as Professor of English at Tarrant County College, and Publisher & CEO of Franklin Publishing Company. I know how to take on difficult projects and see them through to a successful completion. These qualities are essential to being an effective Congressman.

My dad was an illegal immigrant from Germany and my mother a second generation Italian who never attended high school. At 16 years of age, I quit high school and left home to become a professional prizefighter. My manager, Emil Monteverdi, and trainers, Whitey Bimstein and Freddie Brown, helped me win every professional fight I had.

Ring Magazine rated me the “Outstanding Prospect” in the Light Heavyweight Division, but boxing was not really what I wanted out of life and the Lord Jesus Christ protected me and encouraged me to quit boxing and return to school. These qualities of determination are essential to being an effective Congressman.

How do politics affect your family?

We are a blended family. Maxine and I have been married 17 years and we have six children and six grandchildren. Maxine’s two sons, my two sons, and two daughters think it is a fitting task for our ministry and public service filled life. We are active in our church and the Democratic Party. Maxine and I both believe that the responsibility of both the church and a political party, while they are separate entities, should be to help those in need.

We are excited about the opportunity we have to continue to serve the USA and return a portion of the wonderful life our Lord and our country has given us.

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