Reporting Robbie Owens
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The City of Dallas received a major announcement Wednesday from Mayor Tom Leppert. After serving just one term, Leppert said that he would be resigning as of Friday. That resignation comes four months shy of his term’s end, meaning Mayor Pro Tem Dwayne Caraway will become the new mayor until the upcoming election.
A retired construction company executive, Leppert was a relative unknown in Dallas political circles until his successful mayoral campaign four years ago. Leppert’s supporters – and even some detractors – will admit that he brought a greater sense of civility to the horseshoe.
With only a couple recent exceptions, Leppert has been able to successfully push his agenda, turning back a challenge to the Trinity River bridge project and seeing the construction of a convention center hotel. But rumors have long circulated that Leppert had political aspirations beyond Dallas City Hall, perhaps in the U.S. Senate.
That speculation was increased a month ago, when Leppert announced that he would not seek a second term as Dallas Mayor, only saying that he had accomplished all of the goals he had set out to do back when he took office.
After announcing his resignation, Leppert said that he was not prepared to discuss his plans for the future.
Meanwhile, Caraway has already said that he would not run for Dallas Mayor. He has been a lightning rod for controversy lately, especially after he presented Philadelphia Eagles star quarterback – and convicted criminal – Michael Vick with a key to the city. There was also a domestic dispute call to his home, which he called the Chief of Police of handle. Caraway first blamed it on a couple of friends arguing over a football game, but he later recanted and admitted that it was, in fact, a marital dispute.
There is a great deal of concern about Caraway taking office, even temporarily. Backlash from the recent Vick incident prompted some Dallas City Council members to mount an effort to remove him as Mayor Pro Tem. The effort fell short, blocked by a couple of Caraway’s allies on the council.