Rawley McCoy

Rawley McCoy

Victoria architect Rawley McCoy filed Friday for election as mayor in the May 4 election, adding to the field of candidates vying for the city’s top elected office.

If elected, the Victoria native said his top priorities are repairing aging infrastructure and revitalizing the city’s economic vision, according to the candidate’s news release. In recent decades, the city’s wage and job growth have stagnated, and businesses have struggled to retain talent, McCoy said. Those are things he wants to change.

“It’s like Victoria is idling ... and we don’t know what to do,” McCoy said. “And I think it’s time for people in leadership to start challenging people to tackle this problem.”

McCoy attended Victoria High School before moving on to Victoria College and then Texas A&M University, according to the news release. Upon graduating, he turned down jobs in major cities and instead chose to start his practice in his hometown. Today, he runs a firm with 12 full-time employees and has collaborated on major construction and infrastructure projects across the state.

“This is a special place. When I was born, my father was managing a grocery store, but he worked hard and, together with some partners, started a concrete business that lasted four decades,” McCoy said. “I knew that hard work could grow a career and a business in Victoria.”

As mayor, McCoy said he would focus on attracting businesses that pay competitive wages and benefits — like his own firm, he said. That’s the only way Victoria is going to compete with cities across the state to attract talented employees and boost the city’s economic success.

“If we want Victoria to be the kind of place where future generations can live their American Dream, we need to be serious about laying a foundation for future success,” McCoy said. “Ultimately, that’s why I feel compelled to run for mayor.”

Besides economic development, McCoy said he’s also focused on improving emergency preparedness and “managing city government like a well-run business.” He has a breadth of experience serving local agencies, including helping to create the Victoria Business and Education Coalition and serving on Trinity Episcopal School’s board, according to the news release.

He also serves on the Government Affairs Committee of the Texas Society of Architects and worked on the association’s Hurricane Harvey Recovery Task Force. And in an effort to improve access to mental health care across the region, he’s been active in the Gulf Bend Collaborative.

McCoy is the third candidate to file paperwork with the city to run for mayor, according to city documents. Brent Carter, an insurance agent, and Vic Morgan, former president of the University of Houston-Victoria, are also running for the position. Candidates have until Feb. 15 to register for municipal elections in Texas. Election Day is May 4.

Paul Polasek, the current mayor of Victoria, has been in office since 2013, but has said he is not seeking re-election.

Marina reports on local government for the Victoria Advocate. She may be reached at mriker@vicad.com or 361-580-6511.

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Marina writes about housing, Hurricane Harvey recovery and local politics for the Victoria Advocate. You can reach Marina by emailing mriker@vicad.com or follow her on Twitter, @MarinaStarleaf.

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