It's 'Mayor Leffingwell' Now
Twenty-point lead evokes Monday McCracken concession
Amid a cramped crowd of reporters, supporters, and onlookers at City Hall, Brewster McCracken made official Monday afternoon what his poor second-place showing election night suggested: He would bow out of the mayoral run-off election, effectively making Lee Leffingwell Austin's next mayor. "I believe that pursuing a run-off election would not be in the best interests of Austin," said McCracken. "I thought it would've been a distraction in a time when Austin needs to get to work tackling our challenges and the common bonds that we need to be pursuing to move into the future."
Thanking McCracken for his six years of service on the City Council, Mayor-elect Leffingwell lauded McCracken's campaign promises to make Austin a leader in fields such as renewable energy. Saying he was "looking forward to playing an active role" in the Pecan Street Project, the smart-grid Austin Energy endeavor McCracken promoted on the trail, Leffingwell added, "I hope and expect that Brewster will remain intimately involved in that effort." But, as the victor, Leffingwell reiterated his plans to assist "small local business" and stay "focused on the fundamentals: traffic, public safety, social services, environmental protection, neighborhood preservation, and open government." Looking to the daunting state of the economy and an overstretched city budget, "it will not exactly be a pleasant time to be mayor, but it's an important time to be mayor," he said.
Those important Austin challenges – economic, social, and structural – are worth bearing in mind as you read the following dispatches from around the city on election night. We hope that aside from granting you a ringside view of the campaign parties, a clearer, more human picture emerges of the people that will lead the city through the next few years.