Rafael Ruiz has withdrawn his candidacy for Olympia City Council position 3, leaving incumbent Nathaniel Jones running unopposed in the Nov. 3 election.
Among the reasons Ruiz cited include the challenge of balancing work and family life.
“With all I have to juggle, I am not capable of giving the amount of time and effort to the campaign that it takes to win, nor the amount that you deserve from your candidate,” Ruiz said in a statement. “This highlights the divide within our political system that often requires class privilege to run for office.”
Ruiz, 32, is a single father who works full-time at the Olympia Food Co-op. He said he entered the race as a working-class candidate to address issues such as poverty, homelessness, income inequality and tenants’ rights.
Never miss a local story.
Ruiz was among three candidates running on the progressive Olympia For All platform. Ray Guerra finished third in the August primary for the position 2 seat against Judy Bardin and Jessica Bateman, and did not advance to the general eleciton.
The lone remaining candidate is Marco Rossi, who is running for mayor against City Councilwoman Cheryl Selby.
Olympia For All candidates organized around four main issues: a $15 minimum wage, police accountability, urban planning and public involvement.
In response to Ruiz’s announcement, Jones issued a statement, saying that he will continue participating in the campaign process and community forums.
“I regret that Olympia’s voters will not have an opportunity to hear more from (Ruiz) about real questions facing our community,” said Jones, who also serves as the city’s mayor pro tem. “Our residents have a right to know where their elected officials stand on issues of consequence.”