Mike Rawlings (left) and Ron Natinsky

Dallas mayoral candidates Ron Natinsky and Mike Rawlings spoke to Stonewall Democrats of Dallas during their monthly meeting at Ojeda’s Restaurant on Tuesday night.

Natinsky was asked about a comment that appeared recently in The Dallas Morning News, which quoted him as saying that the other candidates for mayor shouldn’t have been at a recent Reagan Day Dinner because they aren’t Republicans. A Stonewall member questioned why Natinsky, a Republican, was appearing at Stonewall.

Natinsky responded by saying he was misquoted in The DMN. He said that since the mayor’s race is nonpartisan, candidates should appear at events sponsored by both parties.

Another Stonewall member asked Natinskly how he voted in the last presidential election. Natinsky paused as if deciding whether to answer but responded that he voted for Republican Sen. John McCain, before again stressing the nonpartisan nature of the Dallas race. Stonewall members seemed to appreciate his honesty.

Rawlings, a Democrat, spoke about equality and talked about a friend who was killed in a hate crime on Cedar Springs a number of years ago, before giving his stump speech. Rawlings talked about his plan to grow the Dallas economy by bringing more businesses to the city.

Former Stonewall President Jesse Garcia asked Rawlings whether he’d work to attract businesses that include LGBT equality in their employment practices.

Rawlings said he isn’t the equality police but believes that companies probably come here because they’re attracted to the city’s arts and diversity. Those companies, he said, are also more likely to offer benefits to their LGBT employees.

The third major candidate in the mayor’s race, former police chief David Kunkle, spoke to Stonewall last month.