Dallas, Fort Worth set for runoff mayor elections


In Amarillo, a former city commissioner was elected the new mayor in the conservative Panhandle town. Car dealership owner Paul Harpole won with 77 percent of the vote. He easily defeated the 10 other candidates -- including fundamentalist street preacher David Grisham, who got 1 percent of the vote, and transgender candidate F.E. Dunaway, who lives as Sandra Dunn and received 3 percent. The incumbent Debra McCartt did not seek a fourth term.

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, the youngest mayor of any of America's Top 50 biggest cities, won his second term with 81 percent of the vote in defeating four virtually unknown challengers. A 36-year-old attorney, Castro is a rising Texas Democratic Party star who was considered a likely challenger for Republican U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's seat. But instead he pledged to stay in San Antonio and improve education, quality of life and economic development.

In Dallas, the city's former homeless czar Mike Rawlings earned 41 percent of the vote and will be in a June runoff with former Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle, who had 32 percent. City Councilman Ron Natinsky came in third with 25 percent.

Rawlings, who has been chief executive of three companies and pledged to improve economic development, had raised the most money -- more than $1.6 million -- for a massive ad campaign. Kunkle has the most name recognition and touted his record of reducing crime but had raised about $184,000. On Saturday night, Kunkle said he planned to start raising more money heading into the runoff.

The Dallas mayor's seat was vacated by Tom Leppert earlier this year when he announced he would run for Hutchison's seat in 2012. She is retiring.

In Fort Worth, former tax assessor Betsy Price, who pledges to cut city spending, earned 43 percent of the vote. She will be in a June runoff with former Councilman Jim Lane, who says he has the most municipal experience and got 26 percent of the vote. Former Councilwoman Cathy Hirt trailed with 21 percent.

Fort Worth had what many called the first competitive race in decades after a series of longtime mayors, including Mike Moncrief, who decided not to seek reelection after eight years in office.

A runoff is required when a single candidate does not garner more than 50 percent of the vote.

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