Olympia Councilwoman Karen Rogers said Tuesday she will not run for re-election and is endorsing a new candidate for her position, Michael Volz.
Rogers said she isn’t running because she can be more effective on local issues not sitting behind the dais at council chambers.
“Partly it’s that some of the challenges that I see city government most facing can’t be solved at the local level,” she said.
Rogers endorsed Volz, who is now the third downtown business owner to enter the Position 4 race. Volz owns MVP Mopars, a Chrysler muscle car restoration shop, at 118 Cherry St. He will face Darren Mills, who owns the Frida salon, and Cheryl Selby, who owns the Vivala boutique, in the primary election on Aug. 6.
“I’ve always wanted to do this,” Volz said. “I’ve just never had the chance.”
Rogers said she decided she wouldn’t run again more than a year ago, but until recently was coy about her decision. She said she would endorse someone if she found a good candidate.
She said she found that in Volz.
“He’s a good thinker,” she said. “I like his background. I think he has something unique to offer that’s not on the Olympia City Council.”
Volz, 42, said Rogers asked him to run.
“She was just one of those people that I like her stance,” he said. “She doesn’t seem to be too extreme on one side of the issue or other.”
Volz has lived in Olympia since 1991 and now lives on the city’s west side. He sees the biggest issues facing Olympia as giving neighborhoods more say, issues of graffiti and traffic and improving downtown.
“The biggest thing is I think we need to work on is making it a little more business friendly downtown,” he said.
“I think I have some unique perspective because I’ve been a property owner as well as a business owner downtown,” he said.Matt Batcheldor: 360-704-6869 email@example.com @MattBatcheldor