Rawlings, Kunkle in runoff for Dallas mayor

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by BRAD WATSON and MONIKA DIAZ

WFAA

Posted on May 14, 2011 at 10:32 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 9 at 6:06 PM

DALLAS — Businessman Mike Rawlings held a strong lead all night and will face former police Chief David Kunkle in a run-off election for mayor of the state's second-largest city.

With 95 percent of precincts reporting late Saturday night, Rawlings was leading with 41 percent of the vote; Kunkle had 32 percent.

Third-place finisher City Council member Ron Natinsky, with 25 percent, called Rawlings to concede defeat.

Rawlings told News 8 he wants to put the "Big D" back in Dallas.

"It starts with neighborhoods, because we'll never be a great city without great neighborhoods and great public schools," he said. "We need a pro to be able to do that," he said.

Kunkle, who had name recognition with voters, was able to get a big bang for his campaign bucks.

"[For] what I spent for each voter I did really, really well," Kunkle said. "But I will start fundraising tomorrow morning and plan to run a very strong campaign."

But Rawlings maintains that he would be the better man for the mayor's office.

"Look: Chief Kunkle was a great chief of police, but he's never run a business; he's never had to grow a top line," Rawlings said. "That's my experience, and hopefully I'll bring that to the City of Dallas."

The runoff election will take place on June 18.

E-mail bwatson@wfaa.com and mdiaz@wfaa.com

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