DALLAS — Former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert — who ran in the Republican primary against David Dewhurst and Ted Cruz and got 13 percent of the vote — wasted no time endorsing Dewhurst after Tuesday night's Belo Debate.
During the campaign, Leppert constantly referred to Dewhurst as a "career politician," and just before the primary, Dewhurst aired a harsh attack ad that claimed Leppert ran Dallas like a "Democrat."
But all was forgiven Tuesday (as it often is in politics) when Leppert swung his support behind Dewhurst's base. Leppert cited Dewhurst's long government record and experience in business in making his decision.
"In Washington, we need people who actually understand how an economy works... who actually understand how you create jobs," Leppert said. "There are a lot of issues out there, but the reality is, if we don't address the economy and we're in dire straits, then a lot of these issues aren't going to be near as important as each one of us are making them to be. I believe what it really takes people who really bring an experience base."
Leppert said he met with both Dewhurst and Cruz separately after the primary before deciding to back Dewhurst.
Sources had told News 8 that Leppert was hurt and angry at Dewhurst for the attack ad, and that Dewhurst — needing Leppert's support — reached out immediately to try to make amends.
In a rare example of penitence in politics, Dewhurst now admits that he apologized to Leppert.
Reacting to the endorsement, a Cruz spokesman said, "Congratulations, Mr. Dewhurst."
The Republican runoff election will take place on July 31.