Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings is preparing to leave office after two terms. He is the longest serving mayor in 58 years. In his first TV interview about his exit, Rawlings gets personal about the wins, the losses and the moments that brought him to his knees.
"I'm very humble. I mean this city is a remarkable place and that I spent eight years serving the citizens is really neat. I'm really tired. I'm ready for it to be over. I'm a believer that I need to pass the torch to someone else," Rawlings said.
Twice, major crisis' thrust Mayor Rawlings into the national spotlight. First, the Ebola outbreak in September 2014. He said initially he feared a widespread outbreak.
"I said, 'Boy, this could happen in Dallas.' So it made me very very cautious. I didn't want to declare a state of emergency for the city because when you declare a state of emergency, a lot of things shut down and it's tough to kind of get that rebooted," Rawlings said.
The latest news from around North Texas.
The second -- the July 2016 ambush on police. Five Dallas officers were killed and nine others were injured.
"You know, having those officers killed is a very painful thing for the whole city. It's so hard to be a police officer today and in today's world. To have them killed in that manner, in a manner that they were standing up for people's freedom of speech," Rawlings said.
When asked what kind of mark the police shootings left on him personally, Rawlings said the dialogue has to change. "We've got to be careful what we say to one another. Those shootings were caused by this toxic combination of social media and hatred."
Looking way back, Rawlings said the fact that he ran for mayor in the first place surprised even him.
"Someone told me I should run before I ran and it was a mentor of mine. I looked at him and I asked the question, 'let me ask a selfish question. Why should I do it? What's in it for me?' Without missing a beat he said life experiences."
Those life experiences, he said he gained most Wednesdays on Dallas City Council.
"Things are said and we know when someone's being critical of you or trying to stab you in the back with just the way they look at times, let alone what they say. I have always been a very impatient person and I feel that sometimes God put me into this thing to teach me patience."
So what is next? In the short term, Rawlings said that he and his wife Micki have planned a summer road trip.
When Dallas news hits, Rawlings admits that it will be strange not to get the phone calls.
"It's okay. It's alright. We all on the seventh day, you just have to rest a little bit and it's time for me to rest," Rawlings said.
Will Mike Rawlings run again for public office?
"I don't think so. I got my life experiences," Rawlings said.
"So no way," said Land.
"I don't know about no way, but I don't think so. I think there's a pretty good chance you'll not see me on the ballot for the rest of my life," Rawlings said.
Of his wife, Micki he said she's ready to have him home more.
"She said, 'You run but with another wife!'"