Paul Voelker told Community Impact he will not seek re-election as Richardson mayor in the upcoming general election.

Nearing the end of his 10th year as a Richardson politician, Voelker said he did not want to head into the next cycle as a “lame duck” mayor.

“This way, I'm making my announcement on my terms, not driven by the charter or anyone else,” Voelker said. “It's been a total honor to be the mayor. I love doing it, but there's only so much one can give.”

Voelker started his Richardson political career in 2013 and was elected twice to City Council. After being elected by his fellow council members as mayor pro tem in 2015, he was sworn in as mayor after former Mayor-elect Laura Jordan declined to take the oath. Voelker was officially elected mayor in 2017, later winning re-election in 2019 and 2021.

Voelker will give his final State of the City Address, which will be held at the Charles W. Eisemann Center, on Jan. 25. Voelker said he plans to give a speech recapping his tenure at his last City Council meeting, which is scheduled for May 15.

Voelker, who is CEO of TrenData Inc, a software company, has not disclosed any future plans for civic engagement.

In reflecting on his 10 years as a Richardson politician, Voelker said the most important vote was when the city acquired the Spring Creek Nature Area in 2014.

“That was 60-plus acres [of land] that would have probably ended up as apartments,” Voelker said. “Most citizens thought we owned it anyway, but we didn't, and we had to be very creative to make that happen.”

Starting Jan. 18, Richardson residents are able to file for a spot on the May 6 general election ballot, which includes both the mayoral seat and all six council member seats. All seven positions are elected at-large, with all registered Richardson citizens able to vote in any race for the City Council. Candidate packets are able to be picked up at the Richardson IQ Headquarters, located at 1302 E. Collins Blvd., or via email. The deadline to file for the election is Feb. 17.