St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman isn't seeking re-election

Now the question is whether he'll run for governor in 2018.
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St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman won't be seeking re-election next year.

Coleman, who has served as mayor of Minnesota's capital city for the past 11 years, made the announcement, which wasn't very surprising, Thursday during a news conference at Lake Monster Brewing Company in St. Paul.

Announcement at Lake Monster Brewery

Posted by Chris Coleman on Thursday, December 1, 2016

He was elected mayor in 2005 when he defeated incumbent DFLer Randy Kelly. He was re-elected in 2009 and 2013, making him the city's third longest-serving mayor in history, MinnPost says.

“I’m proudest of the fact that St. Paul is back. It’s as strong as I’ve seen it in my lifetime,” Coleman told MinnPost. “There’s a vitality to it that I think people from all over are recognizing.”

During the news conference, Coleman and his colleagues listed some of his office's accomplishments over his three terms as mayor, like making St. Paul a "fun place" by bringing Crashed Ice, Beer Dabblers and other events to the city, as well as building the St. Paul Saints new ballpark and the future MLS stadium, bringing the Green Line to the city, and efforts to be more sustainable, to name a few.

“What I have loved the most about this journey is that we have never lost sight of what St. Paul is," Coleman said Thursday. "This scrappy Midwest town has emerged from the shadow of the big city to the West and become a true twin of the Twin Cities by being true to itself.”

Coleman looked forward to his next year in office, and emphasized the need for cities to take the lead on some issues, including climate change, and to be a place for people of all backgrounds to feel safe.

Will he run for governor?

So what's next for Coleman? He hasn't said, but he also hasn't ruled out whether he'll run for governor in 2018. (Gov. Mark Dayton has said he won't be seeking another term in office.)

"Obviously it's something I've been thinking about, but today my focus is just about the work that lies ahead for the next year in the city," Coleman told the Star Tribune.

His decision about joining the race for governor could come in the next month or so, he told MPR News.

Who will be St. Paul's next mayor?

His decision not to seek re-election means the race for the next mayor of Minnesota's capital city will be open for the first time since 2001, when then-Mayor Norm Coleman (of no relation to the current mayor) decided not to run again, MPR News notes.

A few people have already said they'll run for the mayoral seat next year, including former school board member Tom Goldstein and former council members Melvin Carter III and Pat Harris, the Pioneer Press says.

The paper says candidates for mayor could pass a dozen by November, when St. Paul residents will decide the next mayor through ranked-choice voting.

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