Duluth mayor says he may not seek third term

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Duluth Mayor Don Ness says he's undecided about whether he will run for re-election next year.

The Northlands News Center reported that Ness said that he previously thought that he and his wife Laura would make his decision about a third term by the end of the year, but now he thinks his decision should be arrived at earlier, perhaps by early fall. Ness was elected mayor in 2007, and re-elected in 2011.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, Ness described his indecision about running for another term and admitted that he struggles to be enthusiastic about the political side of the job.

"Now that we're half way through 2014, the decision of whether to run for re-election next year is starting to loom," he wrote. "I'm increasingly faced with projects that will continue into 2016 and beyond - which is a constant reminder of my own uncertainty."

In and interview with MPR News, Ness said that he wanted to be transparent about his thought process as he contemplates 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."

Ness has been frequently been mentioned as one of the DFL's bright young prospects and has been mentioned as a possible candidate for higher office in the future. But Ness said being mayor is the office he's 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."

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