Duluth Mayor Don Ness said Thursday that he's leaning against running for office again, although he won't make a final decision until fall. Duluth's mayoral election is in 2015.
In a Thursday Facebook post, Ness reflected on his future plans. He said in the post that he still loves the work but that he's "struggling to generate any enthusiasm for the political side of the job."
In an interview with MPR News tonight, Ness said he hasn't made a final decision, but that he wanted to be transparent about his thought process on running again for reelection.
"It both provides some perspective to my constituents and my supporters on how I'm thinking, it also opens you up and makes you vulnerable to the speculation that's to come," Ness said. "That's what I've tried to do in political life -- is to share and to make myself vulnerable in a way that people can see the difficulty of the decisions we're making."
The response from constituents was very supportive, Ness said, but he's slightly uncomfortable that it elicited such a strong reaction.
"My goal was on a quiet day before the holiday weekend to share a perspective and let people know where I was at within this decision-making process," Ness said. "It turned out people read it and reacted to it in a way I hadn't anticipated."
Ness has been mentioned as a prospect for higher office in the state. But he said being mayor is the political office he's best suited for.
"I really don't have interest in political office beyond the local level," Ness said. "Once I'm done with this role, I'm looking forward to a more private life, going into the private sector, and focusing more time and attention on my family and my friends."
Ness was first elected mayor in 2007, and re-elected in 2011. He and his wife Laura have three children: Eleanor, James and Owen.