Dallas voters sent its mayoral race into a runoff today as none of the candidates won the 50 percent majority needed for outright victory to set the direction of the ninth-largest U.S. city.
Mike Rawlings, 56, a former Pizza Hut president, led with 41 percent of the vote with 532 of 555 precincts reporting, according to Dallas County records. David Kunkle, 60, ex chief of police, won 32 percent of the vote, enough to win a June 18 runoff with Rawlings.
Ron Natinsky, 65, a City Council member, won 25 percent of the votes to come third.
“I will start fund-raising tomorrow morning,” Kunkle said in comments on WFAA television Channel 8 in Dallas.
The winner of the runoff will set the city’s course as fiscal strains have led to spending cuts and tax increases in each of the past two years. Another deficit looms for the coming budget cycle, according to Dallas Morning News reports.
The winner will replace Dwaine Caraway, who got the job in February when Tom Leppert resigned to run for the U.S. Senate. Caraway, still a City Council member, didn’t seek a full term as mayor.
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