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Jim Graves downplays interest in run for Minneapolis mayor

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Hotel magnate and former 6th District congressional candidate Jim Graves says he's been urged to run for Minneapolis mayor in the wake of R.T. Rybak's recent announcement that he would not be seeking a fourth term in office, the St. Cloud Times reports.

Graves told the Times that he's humbled that "people think I could do the job," but said his "real heart and interest is more in national politics."

Graves -- who was narrowly defeated by GOP incumbent U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann for the 6th District House seat in November -- didn't completely rule out a run, saying, "I never say never to anything."

The hotelier recently returned to his business full-time, noting that he said he’d rather keep on developing and managing hotels than consider another run for public office.

Graves told the Times that he members of the Minneapolis Business Community urged him to run, as did certain members of the Minneapolis City Council -- although he did not specify which ones.

Not long after Rybak's announcement, city council members Betsy Hodges and Gary Schiff expressed interest in a possible run, as did Minneapolis school board member Hussein Samatar and former Minneapolis City Council president Jackie Cherryhomes.

The most recent person to declare interest was Don Samuels, who said he is forming an exploring an exploratory committee which will be headed by former Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan.

Rybak's decision to not run for another term doesn't come as a complete surprise. A longtime supporter of President Barack Obama, Rybak has been deflecting rumors about going to Washington to become a part of the president's second term administration, or possibly becoming the head of the Democratic National Committee.

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