Today, Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert announced that he will not seek re-election to his Mayoral post in Dallas, this being a clear signal that he intends to run for Kay Baily Hutchison’s seat in the Senate. Tom will be a very formidable state-wide candidate with his background as both mayor and CEO of a large construction firm.
I know Tom, and I truly admire him but I’m not sure I can vote for him. Leppert has a history of advocating both social and fiscally liberal ideas. The man has a bleeding heart when it comes to helping the poor and homeless, of which is admirable but once you translate that into taxpayer funded assistance you have crossed the line in my mind. Leppert’s most controversial move was supporting a $500 million dollar hotel project in the heart of the City and financed by the taxpayers. HIs reasoning is that it would be a revenue producer for the City over the long haul and to a degree he might be right. But my problem with this is that at its core it shares a fundamental trust in government that I dont have. Finally, and this one burns me up (pardon the stupid pun) he supported a large increase in the city-wide banning of indoor smoking. I have never had a cigarette in my life but nothing angers me more than politicians trying to legislate their own morality on others simply for aesthetic reasons.
Again, that all being said, Tom is going to be a major force when it comes to fund raising and general statewide appeal. He will be particularly formidable if Hutchison decides not to run. As Mayor, Leppert has been a knowledgeable, fair and principled leader (and by principled I mean right and wrong, not left or right). He is a great communicator and will have a strong shot at winning the nomination. I am holding out my judgement till we get a good look at Michael Williams.