DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Three cities that are among the largest in Texas, with a combined population of more than 3.5 million people, are holding mayoral elections Saturday.

Nine candidates are vying to replace Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, who is unable to seek a third term due to term limits. When Rawlings leaves office in June, he will be the longest serving mayor in Dallas since R.L. Thornton in 1961.

(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

The Dallas Morning News in an editorial is urging voters to focus on three who stand out: State Rep. Eric Johnson, philanthropist and former biotech executive Lynn McBee and Dallas school district trustee Miguel Solis.

Rawlings has some advice for the next mayor: have a thick skin and get ready for the most intense job of your life.

There are also nine candidates in San Antonio, where Mayor Ron Nirenberg is seeking a second term. His stiffest challenge appears to be from city councilor Greg Brockhouse, who is backed by the fire and police unions.

It’s a smaller field in Fort Worth, where Mayor Betsy Price is seeking an unprecedented fifth term. Her leading challenger is Tarrant County Democratic Party Chairwoman Deborah Peoples.