Cosmopolis Mayor Kyle Pauley announces he won’t run for reelection

The city of Cosmopolis will have a new mayor starting Jan. 1, 2024, as current Mayor Kyle Pauley will not seek reelection.

Pauley made his announcement in a Facebook post Monday night.

“Filing week is approaching,” said Pauley, whose term ends Dec. 31, 2023. “I felt it was the appropriate time to announce that I will not be running for another term as Cosmopolis mayor, at this time.”

According to the Washington Secretary of State, online candidate filing week starts Monday, May 15 at 9 a.m. and ends Friday, May 19 at 4 p.m. The primary election is in August, and then the general election is in November. The city should know its new mayor by the end of November.

While his announcement came Monday night, his staff has known there was a “very small chance” of him running since he’s been in office.

“The problem is I work in radio,” said Pauley, who works for KXRO News Radio. Pauley noted issues that make it difficult to run a campaign, work in radio, and do his job as mayor, all at the same time.

Despite a variety of hurdles that Pauley and his staff have faced, including the COVID-19 pandemic and budget issues, Pauley sounded satisfied with what he’s been able to do.

“I’m pleased with the things I have been able to do in the last four years,” Pauley said. “I would love to continue but it’s just not possible. The entire time I’ve been in office, it’s been completely dominated by budget woes because of the pandemic.”

Darrin Raines, city administrator for the city of Cosmopolis, had a few positive words regarding Pauley that he relayed to The Daily World.

“I would like to say thank you to Mayor Pauley for his service as mayor and prior to that as council member,” Raines said.

Pauley said the last four years he’s spent as mayor have been “far more rewarding than I could have imagined.”

“Despite a term that has been controlled by the pandemic, related funding impacts, the gray hair, the thickened skin, and the inaccurate statements about me, I am very proud of the work that I’ve been able to be a part of,” he said.

Pauley wishes he could have done more.

“It’s tough, we haven’t been able to do a lot of the work that I wanted to do,” Pauley said. “When I came in, one of my biggest focuses was I wanted to put more money in the parks. I want to take more out of our budget — I didn’t like that we didn’t have enough of the budget allocated to parks and the community, those types of projects. Coming in I haven’t been able to do that whatsoever because we just don’t have the money. Parks don’t have their own independent funding and we can’t just start charging for parks, that’s not popular. So we do what we can with what we can.”

Pauley said in looking back at his administration so far, he has no regrets about the decisions he made.

“They were all based on the facts and the laws that govern us,” Pauley said. “In the end, that’s all any of us can do.”

Pauley said his decision to not seek another term doesn’t have to do with the struggles of the job or the sacrifices he’s made, or the “minority of naysayers.”

Pauley said he intends to continue making changes and leading his administration until his term ends.

The good news for the civic minded people who want a chance to be the next leader of Cosmopolis is there are only a couple requirements, Pauley explained.

“You have to be a registered voter and over 18,” Pauley said. “You have to have lived in the town for at least a year, and that’s it. No training ahead of time, or political experience. It could be a business owner, or a citizen who’s never been interested in politics. Anybody who might be considering it, give it a shot.”

But, Pauley did warn anyone who runs to educate themselves on some of the aspects of the job they’ll need to know how to do. While he admitted the reading material — legal briefs, etc. — can be very dry, the potential candidate should be aware they’ll have to do it anyway if they get into office.

As far as who takes the job next, Pauley will stay tuned in. He’s “excited,” to see who officially files in May.

“I look forward to seeing which Cosmopolis residents step forward to take on this role in 2024, and would happily sit down with anyone considering political office to give them a realistic overview of the role and answer any questions they may have,” Pauley said.

As far as the state of Cosmopolis, Pauley sounded positive.

“Things will be better once Cosmo gets back up and running, but I feel that the staff has been built into place that is stable. I feel our fire department is under great leadership and is growing and I look forward to seeing what comes next,” Pauley said. “Our police department has great leadership. Staff and the policies, we’re above board on everything, even if all of it is the internal workings for the most part, I feel very good about what we’ve been able to accomplish in the last few years.”

Contact Reporter Matthew N. Wells at