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McCracken bows out of Mayoral race

Monday, May 11, 2009 by Austin Monitor

After finishing 20 points behind first place candidate Lee Leffingwell on Saturday, Brewster McCracken has decided to withdraw from the race. He notified supporters by email a few minutes ago.


A Leffingwell spokesman said the two would hold a joint news conference at 4pm today at City Hall, not at 2pm as earlier reported.


Here is a portion of his email:


“To paraphrase W.C. Fields, all in all, I’d rather be in St. Louis.” (This is a reference to the attacks he suffered in the St. Louis media after they learned that he compared Austin in a less than favorable way to the less robust Midwest city.)

”While I am honored to have received sufficient votes to make it to a runoff, Saturday’s results clearly weren’t what I had hoped for.

”I believe my campaign could have made a runoff election a robust competition, but I have concluded that going forward would not be in the best interests of Austin. It would have required an unprecedented fundraising effort that, in this economy, would have put an additional burden on my supporters.  The cost of the election itself would have been expensive to taxpayers.  And a runoff campaign likely would have become negative – which would have distracted the community from unifying around the ideas that formed the core of my campaign, and which ultimately became the consensus among the candidates in this election.

“So, I’m writing to let my friends and supporters know that I have decided to withdraw from the runoff election for Austin mayor.  We are coordinating an early afternoon press conference at City Hall in cooperation with Lee Leffingwell’s campaign team.  I hope you can attend.

”I offer my sincere congratulations to Lee and his team. I spoke with Lee this morning, wished him my best, and offered my assistance as he leads Austin through a difficult and historic period in our city’s history.

”This campaign will end today, but my commitment to Austin’s future will not. My mentor and role model Pike Powers led Austin through the MCC and Sematech efforts that rebuilt our economy – and he did that after he had left elected politics.  George Kozmetsky, whose vision and ideas deeply influenced my own, changed Austin’s future as a civically committed professor at the University of Texas.”

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