Letters to the Editor: Kevin de León wants to serve his constituents. So why isn’t he resigning?
Kevin de León is best known for his work in the House of Representatives as a candidate for governor. His career, however, was not without controversy. As governor, de León presided over the statehouse, which is where the first of many scandals emerged. His administration also saw its share of controversy and criticism. De León’s campaign had a different story line. De León’s opponent, Bill Johnson, portrayed him as a “political dinosaur” while his political foes charged de León with corruption and malfeasance.
De León, meanwhile, wanted to make a difference for the people of this state and serve his constituents. He ran the statehouse for nearly two decades but did not get the opportunity to serve as governor. Therefore, he ran to be the next House speaker.
During his election campaign he stated, “I don’t consider myself someone who’s up at 3:00 a.m. when it’s time to get to work; I don’t consider myself someone who’s in the office when it’s time to be in the office. I consider myself someone who looks to serve my constituents.” Unfortunately, that statement is what led to his ouster from his former post.
De León’s decision to resign, rather than take that seat, speaks to the fact that leadership is a tough job. In the state house, where the legislative session is often filled with partisan bickering, it is virtually impossible for one person to do everything. We should not expect it of the next governor-in-waiting, either.
While serving his constituents, De León worked hard to get the statehouse back in order. He was one of the original members of a task force the legislature created to re-establish the House as a collegial legislature. He also worked to restore the office of inspector general. His accomplishments as a former House Speaker are admirable. However, his leadership is overshadowed by controversies that make his legacy questionable.
As an incumbent governor, de León was eligible for re-election in 2004