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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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