I was going to write something about why the Austin Board of Realtors was getting behind the only Republican candidate for Council, but the fact that Lee Leffingwell wants to Keep Austin Ward takes precedence.
I got to Austin in 2015, so my understanding of the former mayor is based entirely on what others recall about him, his post-mayoral political activity and his bizarre social media activity.
Anyway, here’s the big announcement:
Julio Gonzalez makes an interesting point:
Indeed, Ward has emphasized his support for the police, even calling for a special homestead exemption for public safety personnel. The police union has spent over $30k on behalf of his candidacy.
Leffingwell notably served as an adviser to Uber and Lyft in their fight with the city back in 2016, putting him at odds with Mayor Steve Adler and all of the other City Council Dems. That no doubt ruffled some feathers, but it didn’t necessarily signal an ideological shift.
Things got a little stranger, however, when Leffingwell started getting active on social media. At the beginning of the year, he celebrated the massive windfall that Delta Airlines got from the tax bill. He retweeted Republicans denouncing Democrats over DACA. On Facebook he started sharing memes from right-wing trolls denouncing NFL player protests. It’s worth mentioning that he is a former Delta pilot, a Navy veteran, and a near-octogenarian, all data points that align with such behavior. But still…the guy was an elected Democrat in Austin.
It looks like Leffingwell has deleted his Twitter account. I can’t remember whether it was his candidate page or a personal page on Facebook where he was posting right-wing memes, but all I’m turning up now is a candidate page that displays zero evidence of manipulation by enterprising Macedonian adolescents. His most recent posts are from his final days as mayor. For instance:
What ever happened to that Lee Leffingwell?