It's the least surprising political announcement of the week, no doubt: Dallas Park Board President Mike Rawlings is running for Dallas mayor. The formal announcement, sent from Mari Woodlief, follows in full. In the release -- which names Joe Haggar Jr., former CEO of Haggar Apparel, as his campaign treasurer -- Rawlings says this and only this: "Dallas has had a tremendous history, but for us to be a truly great city in the 21st century we have many challenges to face. Our mayor needs to be a leader who will bring together our entire city to meet those challenges, and I am excited about exploring the possibilities of leveraging my skills to do just that."
I've got calls into Rawlings's office at CIC Partners, where he's a managing partner of the investment firm that has at one point had investments in, among other things and entirely in alphabetical order, payday lender Ace Cash Express, oil-and-gas driller Dale Gas Partners, Cowboys- and Yankees-owned Legends Hospitality Management concessionaires, Quizno's and Restoration Hardware.
Of course, Rawlings used to be the city's homeless czar till Mayor Tom Leppert put him in charge of the Park Board last July, insisting that "Mike knows how to drill down to determine the needs and the resources, how to raise funds and how to get things done." About a month later, Rawlings -- a former Pizza Hut president -- told the council that Park and Rec is "probably one of the biggest businesses in Dallas going, more than any restaurant chain."
This means, following Angela Hunt's announcement yesterday, it's Ron Natinsky v. David Kunkle v. Mike Rawlings. For now, at least.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.