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Ness Says He's Leaning Against Re-Election Bid

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.

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