Barring a minor miracle, Mike Rawlings will be Dallas’ next mayor.
Rawlings, the former Pizza Hut CEO, has a commanding lead over David Kunkle after early voting in the runoff for Dallas mayor.
Rawlings received 59 percent of the early vote to Kunkle’s 41 percent, or 14,685 votes to 10,133, according to results posted shortly after 7 p.m. on the Dallas County Elections website.
Given that the early vote is expected to account for roughly half of overall turnout, Kunkle will have a very difficult time catching up as Election Day results are tallied over the next few hours.
Kunkle is endorsed in the runoff by both Stonewall Democrats of Dallas and the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance. But the two candidates’ positions on LGBT-related policy issues are similar, with both expressing strong support for the community.
Elsewhere, Sandy Greyson leads Donna Starnes after early voting in the runoff for the District 12 seat on the Dallas City Council, by a margin of 54 percent to 46 percent. Greyson had 1,979 vote to Starnes’ 1,706. Greyson and Starnes are vying to replace Ron Natinsky, an LGBT ally who stepped down to run for mayor but finished third and out of the runoff in the May election.
Greyson, who previously served on the council for eight years, voted in favor of a citywide n0ndiscrimination ordinance that includes sexual orientation in 2002. She also voted in favor of adding sexual orientation to DART’s nondiscrimination policy when she served on the transit agency’s board in 1995. Starnes, meanwhile, is a former tea party organizer who’s views on LGBT issues are largely unknown.
I’m headed down to the Rawlings’ watch party at the Meddlesome Moth in the Design District. David Taffet will be over at Kunkle’s watch party at the San Francisco Rose on Greenville.
Tammye Nash is keeping an eye on things in Tarrant County, where openly gay candidate Chris Hightower is vying to become the Arlington’s first openly gay councilmember, and Betsy Lane and Jim Price are squaring off in a runoff for Fort Worth mayor. Tammye will have an update on early voting shortly.