Retired Air Force colonel, E.J. Otero, a Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, will be the guest speaker at the Alafia Republican Club Monday. Feb. 27, at Beef O' Brady's, 4330 Bell Shoals Rd., Valrico.
A social time starts at 6 p.m. and the meeting begins at 6:45 p.m.
Evelio "E.J." Otero Jr., from Miami, is running against Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor for Florida's 11th District.
Otero is currently an independent political/military commentator and intelligence contractor.
He retired after 28 years of service, of which 22 were in active duty. He spent 14 years working out of MacDill Air Force Base, first at U.S. Central Command and later at U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) in Tampa. At USSOCOM from 2006 to 2010 he was in charge of international engagement, dedicated to developing agreements with equivalent special operations commands around the world in support of U.S. military efforts worldwide. In this capacity, Otero took the lead in negotiating partnerships with five key U.S. partners: Poland, France, Great Britain, Colombia and Jordan. He is credited with being the founding architect of a strategic Special Operations Forces (SOF)—dedicated coalitions for future operations at USSOCOM.
Otero is a recipient of the Defense Superior Service medal. He also earned the Defense Meritorious Service medal four times, three Joint Service Commendation Medals, two Air Force Commendation Medals, Air Force Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and several other military and international awards and recognitions.
“America is nothing to be apologized for, nothing to be ashamed of. America has given the most freedom and the most prosperity to the most people of any nation in the history of earth,” said Otero. “And as your Congressman, I will be a part of the leadership team that preserves that freedom for future generations.”
In addition to having Otero speak, the club will welcome Joe Wicker, candidate for the Florida House, and have elections for new officers including a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and membership chairman.
A Lessons in Liberty Class covering chapter 8, "The Virtues of Self Government," will take place immediately after the meeting.
The club also has reduce membership fees to $15 for individuals, $25 for couples.
For information, visit the club's website or call club president, Chris Shalosky, at 813-857-6973.