DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – With Saturday’s mayoral election in Dallas over, the two men who will now face each other in a runoff had little time to savor their victories. Each was back on the campaign trail Sunday, and on the phones as well.
“The real work begins now in the runoff,” said David Kunkle. “(We) Started a renewed fund-raising yesterday and started to get money coming in, and I feel very good that I’ll have enough money to run a good campaign.”
In Texas fashion, Mike Rawlings says his campaign will ‘continue to dance with the one that brung him.’ “And what has ‘brung’ us this far is our message on economic growth, which will develop strong neighborhoods, and bringing the whole city together,” he told CBS 11. “No more North Dallas or South Dallas”.
Political analyst John Weekley believes each is playing to needs: Kunkle’s is campaign money, Rawlings needs name ID. But there’s more. “I think North Dallas is absolutely going to be the battleground,” he says.
In examining maps of voter turnout, Weekly believes both candidates need help from third place finisher Ron Natinsky, especially since there’s a runoff for the city council seat in Natinsky’s old district, “and so they know voters will be turning out there…. so both campaigns are going to do as much as they can in that district.”
There is one other variable. Election Saturday falls on the weekend of Juneteenth, and it’s hard to say how the holiday may effect turnout. “Could play a significant role because it’s the kind of thing that is going to hype turnout in an area that typically in runoffs doesn’t turn out that well,” Weekley says. “If you’ve got MLK (Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.) crowded with parades, that’s a great way to attract candidates, as a matter of fact I’ll bet both candidates are in that parade.”
Kunkle believes he’ll be strong in the city’s southern sector. “The key to who wins this election will be the candidate that gets their votes out. And I think that my voters are passionate and they’ll come out a second time to vote and I’ll work the southern sector very hard.”
Rawlings say he will stay on message. “They (voters) like a mayor that’s not going to raise taxes, they want to make sure the mayor has good fiscal discipline and that he makes the short term decisions correctly and the long term ones so I’m going to stick with that.”
The runoff election is June 18, but early voting is just three-and-a-half weeks away.