Former Dallas mayor campaigning for U.S. Senate - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Former Dallas mayor campaigning for U.S. Senate

Tom Leppert Tom Leppert
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Former Dallas mayor and business owner Tom Leppert is vying for the open U.S. Senate seat representing Texas as Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison retires this January.

He stopped by the studio today to discuss the heart of his campaign.

Leppert prides himself on not being a career politician.

The former Dallas mayor says he is the only candidate in the race with a detailed plan to curb Washington's out of control spending. Although Leppert says there is no "silver bullet" to get the country out of its current debt, he says using a thoughtful approach and introducing a spending cap could help lead the nation towards recovery.

"If we don't address this now," Leppert says, "then I'm afraid by the end of this decade we'll never be in a position to address it. Unfortunately there is a train wreck coming and you have to be smart enough to address this issue. And as I said, it's going to take different approaches to do it."

Due to the redistricting trial, the federal court has ruled that the Texas Primary will be delayed.  Although an official date has not been set, May 29 has been listed as a possibility. 

The delay could help boost name recognition for Former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz or former ESPN college football analyst Craig James. Leppert says the delay could have pluses and minuses for his campaign.  Regardless, he says he hopes that people remain engaged in the election, take action and vote.

Leppert says his campaign remains competitive, even against Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

Dewhurst dominated in name recognition and campaign funding. Last year, Dewhurst raised $8.2 million; Leppert reported raising $6 and Cruz came in with $3.9 million.  Even with less funding, PACs are helping Cruz make it up with television ads.  Reports show PAC Club for Growth has spent almost a half million dollars in television ads to run against Dewhurst.  Why Cruz and not Leppert?  Leppert says it is because he has been focusing on his business, not politics, and believes he can apply what he knows to create more jobs here in Texas and across the state.

When asked, Leppert would not say which GOP presidential candidate he is supporting, or which one he would like to work with if elected to the U.S. Senate.  He said the most important thing is defeating President Barack Obama.  In regards to working with Sen. Harry Reid or other Democrats, Leppert said he wants to seek out solutions without compromising his core principles.

In addition to fixing the economy and creating more jobs, Leppert says his team is focusing on energy solutions.  Gas prices continue to rise as the nation depends upon foreign oil as its main energy source.  Leppert says using our resources here at home will also benefit Texas and the entire nation to create more jobs and help boost the economy.

"Clearly we will not be able to utilize the offshore resources the way we should.  We walked away from the Keystone Pipeline, which is something we can utilize here and create jobs.  We have the situation with the Alaskan pipeline ANWR.  All of those pieces are the answer," said Leppert.  He says after visiting areas around Lubbock and all across the state, he is seeing the same trend of people's concern with the strength of the economy. He says it all needs to stop in Washington, and if elected he will see that it happens. 

In addition to Dewhurst, Cruz and James, republicans Glenn Addison of Magnolia, Lela Pittenger of Driftwood and Curt Cleaver of Keller are also in the running. 

Copyright 2012 KCBD NewsChannel 11

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