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Leffingwell opens campaign touting steady leadership

Tuesday, January 20, 2009 by Austin Monitor

Dozens of supporters of Council Member Lee Leffingwell gathered outside his childhood home in south Austin Saturday for his official mayoral campaign kick-off. “These are tough times,” Leffingwell said. “Right now we need strong, steady, serious leadership at City Hall to help everyone – in every part of Austin – get moving together toward a better future.”


Leffingwell stressed his focus would be on the fundamentals of city government, which he listed as “economic recovery, public safety, social services, transportation solutions and environmental protection.  I will also work on new initiatives to promote a more open, more efficient City Hall, and to encourage citizenship.”


Leffingwell also mentioned his experience and his temperament as qualifications for the city’s top elected office. “I am aware that I am not exactly regarded as Mr. Entertainment,” he said. “But what I may be lacking in wild-eyed exuberance, I believe I make up for in passion for public service and determination to make Austin, Texas – our home – a better place.”


Leffingwell is facing Mayor Pro Tem Brewster McCracken and former State Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn in the race. Former Texas Monthly Publisher Mike Levy, who has expressed an interest in running for the job, has not filed paperwork to establish a campaign.


Leffingwell’s announcement officially means others can begin campaigning in earnest for the Place 1 seat he currently holds. Candidates Perla Cavazos and Chris Riley were at Leffingwell’s announcement on Saturday. Leffingwell said he had waited to make his announcement, in part, “to ensure that Austin taxpayers would not have to pay to hold a separate special election to replace me on the City Council.”


Several members of the Draft Lee Leffingwell for Mayor political action committee attended the event, including Ted Siff and Mike Blizzard. Robin Cravey, former Mayor Roy Butler, Precinct 5 Constable Bruce Elfant, Planning Commission members Dave Sullivan and Dave Anderson, and AFSCME Political Action Coordinator Jack Kirfman were also in attendance.

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