Back in July, the Dallas Observer broke the news that mayor Tom Leppert was considering joining the free-for-all that would be the race to fill the seat that Kay Bailey Hutchison has said she will vacate, although she has appeared to back away somewhat from that pronouncement. To this point I have ignored Leppert’s prospects, as the history of mayors in statewide races is not in his favor. The most recent to try were Ron Kirk (Dallas) and Kirk Watson (Austin) in 2002, Kirk #1 losing to John Cornyn in the race to succeed Phil Gramm in the U.S. Senate, and Kirk #2 losing to Greg Abbott in the race for attorney general. Still, it is not too far-fetched to envision a runoff between Leppert and Bill White, the mayors of the two largest cities in the state, with bases in the two largest media markets as well. Of course, Perry will have a lot to say about that, and David Dewhurst may as well. Both Leppert and White have deep pockets, but it remains to be seen how deep they are willing to reach.
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Weekly dispatches from the middle of the road of Texas politics.
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