Former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert (R) predicted he'll make a runoff in the Texas Senate primary, where he's likely to face Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R).
Leppert on Friday entered an already crowded GOP field that includes former Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams, former solicitor general Ted Cruz and former Secretary of State Roger Williams. Dewhurst is also expected to eventually join the race, and is considered the favorite to succeed Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas).
A candidate needs to win a majority of the vote to claim the nomination without a runoff against the second-place finisher.
"We've got great name awareness and good feelings here in the largest media market anywhere in the state," Leppert told the Dallas Morning News. "We'll have a very strong team. We're going to be very competitive and viable on the fundraising side. When you put all of that together, you’re looking down the line of having a runoff. … When it goes 1-on-1, I'm really comfortable with delivering a message and having people understand that I'm sincere and that I can do something different."
Dallas pollster Joe Counter conducted a survey recently that found almost two-thirds of the respondents had never heard of Leppert, highlighting the scale of the challenge for the former mayor.
"Leppert has potential for sure. His numbers in Dallas and North Texas are strong, but he's unknown across the state and will have to raise and spend a bundle to find his way into a likely primary runoff," Counter told the newspaper.