Former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert’s run for U.S. Senate ended an hour and a half after the polls closed as he arrived at his campaign watch party.
He was greeted by applause from about 100 campaign supporters. The candidate shook a couple of hands, then conceded defeat to the reporters that had surrounded him.
"I think the numbers are pretty clear," Leppert said.
The Leppert vote tracked his poll numbers in the teens, behind former Solicitor General Ted Cruz and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst. And Dewhurst was also leading Leppert in Dallas County. But the former Mayor said he was proud of his campaign.
"You know, I felt like we got in it for the right reasons. I think we conducted the campaign in the right manner," Leppert said.
Leppert backers Diane Benjamin and Steven Nielson agree with that.
"He brought to this race a very educated knowledge about business and jobs," Benjamin said.
"I just think Tom in a man of integrity. We need integrity in Washington, and if not now, then sometime later," Nielson said.
So, what is next for 57-year- old Tom Leppert?
"I don’t know. I’ve always been fortunate," Leppert said. "There’s been a lot of great opportunities."
Leppert, a bit emotional at times, did not take the podium to address the crowd, but made his way through the room, hugging and talking to supporters.
"When you do something like this you’re just humbled by the number of folks that have rallied around you," Leppert said. "And I’ve just been very fortunate. And I appreciate it."
Leppert spent $4 million of his own money on the Republican primary campaign for the Senate seat being vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchison. He would not say if he would be endorsing anyone in the Dewhurst-Cruz runoff.