TX-Sen: Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert Could Enter Race

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More than seven months after we first wrote about the rumors that Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert may be considering jumpining in the U.S. Senate race if and when the seat becomes open, he rumors continue without the Mayor or his staff doing much to silence them.

From the Dallas Observer:

I spoke with Leppert's City Hall chief of staff, Chris Heinbaugh, and his political consultant, Mary Woodlief, to tell them I was working on a story about a possible Senate run and to ask for comment from the mayor. The response was radio silence from Leppert—not even a no-comment, just silence, reminding us of his response when we asked for details about his plan for taking over the school system.

The speculation that he will run persists, however, based on the widely held belief that a special election to replace Hutchison would give Leppert a window that won't be open again for another 15 years or more. In other words, it's a chance he can't afford to miss. 

Greg noted that if Leppert does decide to run, it could harm the candidacy of State Sen. Florence Shapiro, who is from Plano.

Leppert's lack of strong Republican Party credentials and very low name ID outside of the Dallas area would make the race a clear uphill battle. But, as the Observer's article said, an open seat does not come along often and if Leppert wants to get to the Senate he may not have many better opportunities. 

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    • Oakley supporter here
      I worked for the Ed Oakley for Mayor campaign, but I have to admit that Leppert has been a good mayor. I highly doubt he gets strong competition in 2011. Possibly Angela Hunt will run against him, but Leppert remains very popular.

      He speaks with Republican and Democratic groups on a regular basis and tries to stay non-partisan on the city council. Arguably, his closest ally is Caraway, a Black South Dallas Democrat whose wife is a St. Rep. While I am waiting to see the field for 2011, I could see myself supporting Leppert and he has to be heavily favored for reelection at this point.

      • Bobby Levinski on

        Oooh
        I like Angela Hunt.  I'll admit I don't follow Dallas news/politics quite like I used to, but I remember her as a tenacious council member.  I love an elected official that's willing to take a stand, even if it's a divisive issue. So if leppert does decide to run, that may be a good side effect to open up more room for Hunt.

        R or D aside, I like seeing more urban elected officials stepping up.

  1. Big if here
    But if Leppert somehow made it to a run-off with another Republican (Dewhurst, Shapiro, either Williams, Ames), I would encourage every Democrat I know to back Leppert as he would be a much better Senator for Texas than any of those five Republicans.

    That being said, I am supporting Bill White regardless of who else jumps in and would support Sharp in a Sharp-Leppert run-off.

  2. No chance
    Leppert has no chance.  He has been effective as mayor, but he has no name ID outside of North Texas, and I'm not positive he has the ability to raise enough money to make himself viable.  He does have personal wealth, which aided his mayoral campaign, so I assume he would lean toward his personal wealth again to aide his senatorial campaign.  

    A waste of time on his part, particularly if Dewhurst and/or Abbott jump into the race.  He'll burn more bridges then he will build goodwill in his Party.

    Todd

  3. Floating his name
    I just think his political consultants are ready to launch him to the national stage. Hey, 2 years as Mayor of Dallas. That's all any Republican needs. And he just won that crazy, confused “Vote No, Vote Yes” campaign. He's a winner!  

    He's just as ready to run as any of them are. He's got the money, too. Lots of it. Gave $100,000 to George Bush's Inaugural in 2001 (page 28) Thomas C. Leppert, Chairman and CEO, The Turner Corporation..

    Of course he skipped Barack Obama's Inaugural because he “didn't want to use taxpayer money.” You betcha!  

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