Updated: 07/03/2014 10:32 PM
Created: 07/03/2014 10:26 AM WDIO.com
Mayor Don Ness, one of the most popular mayors in Duluth history, says he hasn't decided whether to run for re-election next year but suggested he's leaning against it in a post on Facebook Thursday.
Ness said he and his wife, Laura, feel they should make the decision earlier than the end of the year. He said they may decide by early fall.
"I've always tried to postpone this decision," he said. "Unfortunately, speculation and misinformation is now filling the void."
That's why Ness said he can't avoid it any longer.
Ness said while he loves the work, he's "struggling to generate any enthusiasm for the political side of the job."
Ness said that his feelings are not a complaint, but a recognition of things changing for him.
"Turnover in the mayor's office is a healthy thing," he wrote. "There’s no question that Duluth would benefit from a mayor who brought a different set of strengths and fresh energy to the job. If you do it right, it’s not a job designed for longevity – you get stuff done and then you get out of the way. I have to admit, that’s the way I’m leaning these days, but it’s really hard to let go."
Eyewitness News sat down with Ness Thursday afternoon. He said he made the post in an effort to be transparent with the community and other people who may be interested in running.
"I just wanted friends and supporters to know what I'm thinking about," Ness said.
If he doesn't run, Ness said running for a different office is not in his future.
"Once you move to a statewide and national office, you're even further from making a difference in the community that you love," Ness said.
Ness was first elected mayor in 2007, after serving eight years on the city council, and was unopposed in his 2011 re-election bid. A 2013 National Citizen Survey of Duluth residents found Ness had a 90 percent approval rating.
Ness said regardless of his final decision, he is excited for what's possible over the next 18 months, and thankful to be a part of it.
Great Lakes Wolves Ordered Returned to Endangered List
A federal judge has overturned an Obama administration decision to remove the gray wolf population in the western Great Lakes region from the endangered species list.
MnDOT: Draft EIS for Relocation of Highway 53 Released
A major milestone for the relocation of Highway 53 is now available for public review.
Minnesota Health Officials Report Flu Surge
Minnesota health officials are saying there is an increase in flu outbreaks schools across the state.
UPDATED: MNsure Extends Enrollment Deadline to Dec. 31
Minnesota's health insurance exchange has extended the deadline to enroll for a second time. Minnesotans now have until Wednesday, December 31 to enroll using MNsure.
Wisconsin Budget Faces $824 million Hole
According to a new analysis released by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, Wisconsin's state budget would be $824 million short to continue the current level of service.