Mayoral candidates Mike Rawlings and David Kunkle visited the Advocate studio this week for a video debate as part of our continuing coverage of the runoff election. If you’re looking for more ways in which the candidates distinguish themselves from each other, this unedited video may shed some light.

Advocate publisher Rick Wamre leads the discussion, which will run in five parts, addressing the following: 1) Whether the city should keep investing in big-ticket items during these tough economic times 2) How neighborhoods can get the funding and attention they need from the city in order to thrive 3-4) Balancing the budget – what specifically should be cut? 5) Reader-submitted questions that don’t have so much to do with politics.

In this segment, the candidates discuss the Calatrava-designed bridge (known as the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge over the Trinity River). Is it worth $120 million? Rawlings says yes because it will help make us a world-class city; Kunkle says no, world-class cities are built by having strong and diverse neighborhoods (1:15). Wamre asks why the bridge would make someone want to move to Dallas and how it compares to other expensive projects such as the American Airlines Center (4:12). Rawlings stops to clarify where exactly the two candidates disagree on the issue (7:33). And lastly, Wamre gets the candidates’ responses about the aesthetic and location of the bridge (8:15).

Check the blog again Friday for the second installment of this video podcast series. You can also check out our previous video interviews with the candidates. Election Day is June 18. Early voting is June 6-14. Even if you did not vote in the May 14 election, you can still vote in the runoff.

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