He’s says he registered as an independent.
Frederick County Council President Bud Otis has left the Republican Party. During a news conference at Winchester Hall Thursday morning, Otis told reporters he has registered as an independent.
He says leaving the GOP was not an easy decision. “I’ve been a proud, lifelong Republican. But it seems that the Republican Party of today in Frederick County no longer has a place for a conservative moderate Republican like me,” he said.
Otis cited many of the attacks against he and his family. “I have been forced into making this change based on intense acrimony, uncontrolled anger and mean-spirited personal attacks made against me for my Council leadership by some outspoken members of the local Republican Party, led in part, I believe, by the new local chairman,” he said.
Otis was referring to Councilman Billy Shreve, who has been elected to the position of GOP Chairman. Shreve said he welcomes Otis’ departure from the Party. “I think it’s a great day for the Republican Party,” he said. “Bud Otis abandoned the Republican Party within minutes of being sworn in when he cut a deal with the Democrats to become President.”
Otis was elected President of the Board in December, 2014. Shreve also tried to get that position, but was not successful.
Shreve, Councilman Kirby Delauter Otis have clashed with Otis over issues on the Council. Both Shreve and Delauter have been very critical of Otis’ leadership.
Otis accused the local Republican Party of using tactics to intimidate him to get him to vote in a certain way. “When the local Republican Party and its message is no longer being driven by people who espouse division, engage in hateful attacks, but rather by individuals who wish to be real leaders and engage in discussion and collaboration to improve our county and quality of life, I will return to the Republican fold. But until that time, I remain unaffiliated,” he said.
But despite his departure from the Republican Party, Otis said he remains a conservative, supporting Governor Larry Hogan and his leadership of the state of Maryland, and the core values of the Republican Party. He also says he will support a “right sized” government which provides essential services for its citizens, and will push for better schools, better education for children, and adequate compensation for teachers and staff.
Shreve says many Republicans will rejoice now that Otis is no longer a part of the GOP. “Now they can say exactly what they think about him,” he said.
“Bud Otis doesn’t have a home. He abandoned the Republicans. The Democrats have used him as a puppet,” says Shreve. “Right now, he’s floundering out there with no course, no direction and nobody wants to be his friend.”
Even though he has signed up as an independent, Otis says he will still remain President of the Council. “You have to count to four. It takes four to appoint a President. That’s what happened last time. So if they have four votes for a candidate, they’ll get someone else. But until they do, I’m going to remain President,” he said.
Otis also didn’t rule out a run for re-election to the Council in 2018. “Why not? I love my job. I love the people. We’ll see if I run as Republican or I run as an independent. That will depend on what the party does.”