Leffingwell Leapfrogs to Mayor?
Current Council Member considering run for the mayor's seat.
By Katherine Gregor,
10:55AM, Tue. Jun. 26, 2007
Will Council Member Lee Leffingwell run for mayor? That question has proved popular chaw at recent gatherings of City Hall watchers and community-advocate types. Mayor Will Wynn’s term expires in 2009, and term limits prevent him from running again. Brewster McCracken is known to have mayoral ambitions; Leffingwell is the other name most often mentioned. So we asked him.
“I’m definitely interested and very strongly considering it,” Leffingwell affirmed, while noting that it would be too early to officially announce. His first hurdle, of course, is winning re-election to council in May 2008. But provided that Leffingwell maintains Place 1 – a likely outcome – his campaign team could stay in place for the mayoral race. Leffingwell has drawn his base of support from Central Austin, environmental and nonprofit circles, and the business community; he noted that Austin’s gradual shift toward suburban political participation could deliver a slightly more conservative electorate come 2009.
Asked how dueling mayoral sights might affect his working relationship with McCracken, Leffingwell cited their mutual respect and said, “Anything can happen in two years, and in the meantime we both have a job to do.”
“I think I have the temperament that helps people build consensus,” noted Leffingwell. In considering the mayor’s office, he’s been thinking about how he might use those skills to bring council into alignment, in part by hearing out and incorporating members’ individual needs and concerns. “This city is very important to me,” he said with sincerity. “I would consider it a great honor to be mayor of this city – if the opportunity presents itself, it’s an offer you can’t refuse.”