Leppert, the U.S. senate race, and who will run for mayor

Few people in Dallas politics these days are wondering whether Mayor Park Cities is going to run for the U.S. Senate. They’re acting like he is, and that’s all we need to know.

In fact, everything that everyone is doing, and especially what they did in regards to the disaster that is the 2009-10 city budget, was done with an eye on the special mayoral election that would be held if Leppert runs for the Senate. The city charter says Leppert has to resign if he decides to contest the election that will be held after Kay Bailey Hutchison resigns her Senate seat to run for governor.

And what do politicians do if they want to be elected to a higher office — even those politicians who should know better? They posture on taxes, and we have seen entirely to much posturing on taxes in the past six months. More, after the jump:

In fact, that’s why I’m beginning to think that Leppert will run for the Senate. Everything he has done as mayor, and especially during the last couple of budget debates, points to it. He has established a record as a can-do, business-friendly mayor who is not responsible for the budget mess and who didn’t raise taxes despite the crisis. These cliches will serve him well in the special election to replace Hutchison.

And all of his sly winks and nudges about the Senate race — read about them here, here, and here — point to it, too. What better way to get your name out when you don’t have much name recognition outside of Dallas then by looking coy when so many of the other candidates are drooling in desperation for the job? Can Leppert win the Senate vote? It’s a long shot, but it’s possible, and I’ll have more on that later.

If Leppert resigns, who will run to replace him? The short list probably includes South Dallas’ Dwaine Caraway, the mayor pro tem who will succeed Leppert if the mayor resigns; East Dallas’ Angela Hunt, who has increasingly acted like a mayoral candidate over the past year; and Far North Dallas’ Ron Natinsky, who had an important guest at his budget town hall meeting — the mayor. One name not to overlook: Lake Highlands’ Alan Walne, a former city councilman who has been politically active since he left office and has built up a lot of goodwill with the downtown types for his work against the Trinity River vote two years ago.


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