DALLAS — With Tom Leppert leaving City Hall this Friday, Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway is next in line to run Dallas on an interim basis.
Caraway has said he won't run for Leppert's seat, but he left Wednesday's City Council meeting before taking any questions about his future plans.
Caraway, new face of Dallas, is also a very familiar one.
Normally outspoken, he maintained a low profile Wednesday, leaving the discussion of his leadership to his colleagues.
"I have every bit of confidence that our mayor pro tem will serve the Council and the city well over the next four months," said Council colleague David Neumann.
Caraway's reputation as a vocal crusader has helped him crack down on drug homes and low-rent motels in South Dallas.
He has helped mentor and further the education of at-risk youth, and his "pull up your pants" campaign attracted national attention.
But then again, so have his transgressions, like handing over a ceremonial Key to the City to football star and convicted felon Michael Vick in the days leading up to the Super Bowl.
And then there was last month's blowup at his home that led to a domestic disturbance call to police... and, later, an apology to his constituents.
"It's a private matter between myself and my wife," he said on January 12.
"Let's hope that some of the transgressions that took place in the past stay in the past," said Council member Ron Natinsky.
Council members say they hope Caraway can keep those problems in check, and keep city business moving — which includes starting meetings on time, and holding true to schedules, something Mayor Leppert was known for.
"I have some concerns, but I've also visited with him, and he is very committed to being a good, calm leader for the next few months," Council member Ann Margolin said. "Until he proves otherwise, I'll take him at his word."
Caraway will officially take over at the city's interim mayor on Friday. He is scheduled to discuss his plans in a live interview on News 8 Daybreak at 6:45 a.m. Thursday.
So far, three candidates have filed to replace Leppert as Dallas mayor:
- City Council member Ron Natinsky
- Former Dallas police Chief David Kunkle
- Dallas homeless czar Mike Rawlings
The municipal election is on May 14.