Newsroom

Excerpt:
The following is from the June 17, 2007, edition of The Dallas Morning News


Leppert elected Dallas mayor

By DAVE LEVINTHAL
The Dallas Morning News

Tom Leppert is Dallas' new mayor, his victory launched from a crime-fighting, business-minded platform and fueled by overwhelming support in the city's northernmost neighborhoods.

Mr. Leppert, 53, had never before run for elected office. He's lived within Dallas' city limits for fewer than four years. He rarely visited City Hall.

But the retired construction company executive's insistence that a political outsider with farsighted vision is best positioned to address Dallas' docket of needs resonated throughout the city – even in the southern sector, his opponent's home territory.

And in the end, that opponent, three-term City Council member Ed Oakley, couldn't convince enough Dallasites that his nearly two decades of political experience and encyclopedic knowledge of municipal government better suited him to address the city's high crime rate, bolster its fragile economy and improve city services.

"The fresh-face element was an important element in Leppert's victory," said Matthew Wilson, political science professor at Southern Methodist University. "There's a perception that Dallas city government hasn't done that good a job addressing crime and delivering services, and Leppert, being an outsider, was not tarred by that."

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