A local business owner wants to represent Southeast Raleigh on the City Council.
Olen Watson, who owns a construction company, plans to run for the District C seat, which also represents parts of East Raleigh.
Watson, 46, is a registered Libertarian and former Marine who holds a bachelor’s degree in Biblical studies from Campbell University. He used to teach special education in Wake County schools, according to a statement released Tuesday morning.
The seat is currently held by Corey Branch, a Democrat elected in 2015. Branch has yet to announce his plans for this fall’s election.
On his website, Watson lists homelessness, affordable housing and police-community relations as top concerns. His campaign has scheduled a public meeting for 6:30 p.m. June 8 at Lions Park.
If elected, Watson would be the first white resident to hold the District C seat in at least 30 years.
“We’ll be bold in recognizing the historically pivotal impact southeast Raleigh and all people of color have had in our city,” Watson said in a statement.
His bid for City Council comes less than a year after he lost a race to represent District 38 in the N.C. House of Representatives in November. Longtime state Rep. Yvonne Lewis Holley, a Democrat, garnered 85 percent of the vote to Watson’s 15 percent.