Former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert (R) announced Friday that he is entering the race to succeed retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas).
"Making tough decisions in business and as Mayor was not easy, but I made the hard calls that are so lacking in Washington right now," Leppert said in a statement posted on his website. "In the U.S. Senate I'll help create jobs, be a watchdog for taxpayers, fight wasteful spending, reduce the debt and stop the President's tax increases."
Leppert -- who is a Hutchison ally and was said to only be interested in the race if Hutchison retired -- resigned his post as mayor Wednesday. Political observers had anticipated a Leppert run since Hutchison announced her retirement plans in January.
Leppert joins a crowded field for the GOP nomination. Former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz (R), former Texas Secretary of State Roger Williams (R), and Texas Railroad Commissioners Michael Williams (R) and Elizabeth Ames Jones (R) are already in the race. Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst (R) is expected to launch a campaign within the next few months. Dewhurst is considered a heavy favorite in the race, thanks to his statewide name recognition and great personal wealth.