The city council elections: Can the mayor lose his 13-1 edge?

The answer? It’s not likely, but if Mayor Park Cities loses the hotel vote on May 9, a lot can change.

The best primer on who is running where and whether they deserve to be on the council is in Pete’s Place, a blog written by former newspaperman Pete Oppel, who also did a stint doing PR with the city. That‘s the scorecard so you can tell the players. Pete also has a couple of insights into what’s going on here.

After the jump, what might happen in the election:

Currently, Leppert has 13 votes on the council for almost anything he wants to do. There’s a chance, if he loses the hotel vote, and four key council races don’t go his way, that the mayor’s 13 votes become 7, and we’ll find out if he is really a leader who can work with all sides, or just a CEO who is used to getting his own way. I’m not going to bet that he loses all four council races, but it’s more of a possibility than it was 18 months ago.

The four key races:

• In Lake Highlands, Jerry Allen, a Leppert ally, is running against retired bank executive Don Sanders, who may be able to tap into an undercurrent of discontent with Allen’s approach to development – not just on the hotel, but in the nieghborhood.

• In Lakewood, another key Leppert ally, incumbent Sheffie Kadane, is running against John Yourse, an educator and colonel in the Texas Air Guard. Yourse’s campaign has been unimpressive so far, but Kadane is not a strong candidate, and he avoided a runoff in 2007 by just a couple of dozen votes.

• The third involves Vonciel Jones Hill, a council member who has every once in a while voted against the mayor. She is apparently caught in some sort of local grudge match in her southern Dallas and Pleasant Grove district, which I don’t even pretend to understand. But if she wins, she may hold a grudge of her own against Leppert, who probably could have prevented this.

• The fourth is the open seat in Preston Hollow between Ann Margolin and Brint Ryan. Margolin is the kind of candidate who would take a bullet for the mayor, while Ryan, I’m told, may even be more of a gadfly than incumbent Mitch Rasansky, who has reached his term limit. Which means Ryan, if he wins, may have an agenda that has nothing to do with anything the mayor wants.


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