Newcomers lead the way in wide open primary race for Olympia mayor

Olympia mayor August primary

The results are in for the Olympia Mayoral race as Dontae Payne, David Ross, and Desiree Toliver all seek to replace the incumbent mayor Cheryl Selby.

Selby did not run for reelection and instead is shifting her focus to being a “community volunteer” with either the Olympia Armory or the Inspire Olympia program.

Of the three candidates in the August primary, Dontae Payne is leading, followed by Davis Ross and Desiree Chantal Toliver.

Payne has been a member of the Olympia City Council for two years and was the first black man to serve. Payne says his primary focuses are housing affordability and public safety improvements.

This is the second time Ross has run for mayor, the first time being in 2019. Ross’s primary focus is clearing out homeless encampments and allocating more resources to the mental health crisis.

Toliver has never worked for the government and says that she will bring a different outlook to the mayoral office. Toliver’s primary focus is homelessness. As someone who has been homeless before, Toliver hopes to give people without homes the same second chance she got.