Dallas mayoral candidate Mike Rawlings




Posted on May 12, 2011 at 8:17 PM

Updated Friday, May 13 at 12:20 AM

DALLAS - In the spotlight on the Dallas mayoral race, WFAA focuses on Mike Rawlings.

He is a former head of the Dallas Parks Board and former Pizza Hut CEO who has out-fundraised the other candidates.

Rawlings is 56-years-old and married with two grown children. He's against burdening taxpayers by raising taxes to balance the budget.

Rawlings says attracting businesses of all sizes is key to economic growth in Dallas, and he considers the southern sector the city's greatest untapped resource. However, he said it's an area in need of safe, quality homes.

After a career in marketing, growing and leading businesses, Rawlings said he felt compelled to step up to try and lead city government.

“When I looked at the other candidates and said, 'We need a mayor that believes in the big ‘D’ part of Dallas;' and I looked at myself in the mirror and said, 'I think you're the guy,'" he said.

After attending college on a football scholarship, Rawlings moved to Dallas in the mid 1970s and worked his way up to be the CEO of an ad firm and later Pizza Hut.

“At the same time, it's not about the money; it's about growing people and their lives and their families," he said.

Rawlings learned about the lives of the homeless for five years as the mayor appointed czar. He said his faith guided him on helping them and his business experience on forming policy to deal with the problem.

“Business rethinks itself all the time and government doesn't," he said. "We must use more pro-bono abilities and people giving back with the public sector and creating public private partnerships that we haven't even thought about before."

Rawlings and his wife, Micki, have a grown son and daughter.

Rawlings is now a partner at CIC Partners that invests in other businesses and the CEO of another firm that holds the concession contracts at Cowboys Stadium and Yankee Stadium.

He hopes the next team he leads is the city council.

“I do like to win," he said. "I'm a competitive guy. I spent a lot of time in the sports world, but you focus on the team and the rest takes care of itself.”