Mayor Mike Rawlings: ‘I Didn’t Back Out of Tuesday’s Debate’

Politics is fun. Are fun?

Associated Press
Associated Press
Photography by Bob Manzano

Marcos Ronquillo’s campaign has issued a release saying they are “disappointed as Rawlings pulls out of Tuesday’s debate.” You can read the full thing, below. I caught Rawlings at his personal office a bit ago. He was headed in to City Hall. He assured me that he is insane and that only insane people should be on the road right now. “Tim!” he said. “Please don’t leave your kitchen in East Dallas! You’d be a fool to try to drive to your office!” I swear to you, Wick, that’s exactly what he said. In any case, Rawlings said he never agreed to participate in tomorrow’s debate. His position all along, he said, has been that he won’t do any of these events until we know exactly who is running; the filing deadline is February 27. He called the release from Ronquillo’s camp “just politics.”

Interestingly, Rawlings said he will talk about the Trinity toll road. When he told Jim Schutze that he wouldn’t debate the toll road because it’s not on the ballot, I pointed out how silly that position is. He told me the same thing today: not on the ballot, not debating it. When I suggested that the issue is on the ballot, insofar as he is for it and Ronquillo is against it, Rawlings said he’ll be happy to talk about the toll road — as soon as we know who is running.

I think we know who are the two viable candidates for mayor: Rawlings and Ronquillo. Hopefully after this Friday we’ll get to hear them talk about the biggest issue that separates them.

Ronquillo Campaign Disappointed As Rawlings Pulls Out Of Tuesday’s Debate

Suggests Dallas Mayor Is Afraid To Defend His Support Of Unpopular Trinity Toll Road

DALLAS, TX – FEBRUARY 23, 2015 – After Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings abruptly – and with little explanation – pulled out of the first debate of the Mayoral campaign scheduled for tomorrow night, the Marcos Ronquillo campaign suggested the Mayor is afraid to defend his support of the unpopular Trinity River toll road project. The debate is to be co-hosted by the East Kessler Park Neighborhood Association and the Old Oak Cliff Conservation League.

Marcos Ronquillo issued the following statement:

“I was looking forward to a spirited first debate with Mayor Mike Rawlings, which would have included our differing opinions on the $1.8 billion Trinity River toll road project. Unfortunately, the Mayor recently informed the media that he would not debate the toll road issue then abruptly cancelled his appearance for Tuesday night.

We have a great many needs in Dallas including reducing our poverty rate, helping our schools and neighborhoods, revitalizing South Dallas, and improving basic city services. But as long as the Mayor is spending valuable time, resources, and tax dollars on planning for a $1.8 billion toll road that was never approved by voters, it will be difficult to focus on our immediate neighborhood and infrastructure needs that have been identified as urgent by City Hall.

Let’s be very clear. The Mayor’s race is a referendum on the Trinity River toll road boondoggle. We have an obligation to Dallas voters to publicly debate our difference of opinion on this controversial project.”

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