"The message tonight is Dallas is moving forward," said Mayor Tom Leppert as the crowd here at Gilley's roared in approval. The votes still aren't all in, but, said the mayor, "I can tell you tonight the winner is the Dallas taxpayer."
The mayor looked exhausted and seems to have aged a decade in his two years in office, but once again, he can claim another victory -- even in the aftermath of a Trinity River toll road campaign that damaged his credibility.
"'We were outspent by millions of dollars, but the old politics didn't work," he said, speaking on behalf of a pro-biz establishment that has been winning for years. "What was key to us was not about a hotel but making sure the economy is strong and vibrant."
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The mayor also gave thanks to the council who voted by an 11-2 margin for the hotel proposal nearly a year ago.
"This council has had mud thrown at them," he said, sounding defiant. "It didn't matter. These are men and women I am awfully glad to serve with."
Lepper went on to thank Phillip Jones, Carol Reed and his wife. After a few other people took to the podium, the mayor said his goodbyes, and U2's "Beautiful Day" rang from the speakers.
We've got more photos from the night in our slide show.