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Mayor Coleman not ready to announce for re-election (but we think he’ll say ‘yes’)

With the national election over, voters in St. Paul can look ahead to their next chance to visit with their friendly neighborhood poll workers: next fall’s mayoral election.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman is widely expected to seek re-election to a third term, but hasn’t made the announcement, yet.

Checking in with the mayor’s office for an update on the Hizzoner’s plans, I got this response from Communications Director Joe Campbell:

The mayor is focused on a number of initiatives right now — the Lowertown Ballpark, Promise Neighborhoods, the completion of the LRT so he hasn’t yet made a decision on 2013, but know we’re aware of the interest in the media and will have a decision soon.

Last winter, Coleman told me that “it’s a safe bet” that he’ll run again.

That was right after he’d been elected second vice president of the National League of Cities, which means he’s in line to be president of the group in 2014. But he has to run again, and win, to ascend to that lofty post.

Every once in a while I hear rumblings that there’s a bit of support out there, particularly amongst some firefighters, to get former gubernatorial candidate Matt Entenza to challenge Coleman, but the Entenza camp said, “Nothing doing,” when I asked.

This will be the first time ranked choice voting will be used in a St. Paul mayoral race (it was used in 2011 for the council races), so that may bring out additional candidates who think they have a better chance under that system. It’s not likely to affect Coleman’s chances, though.

In Minneapolis, there’s similar speculation about a mayoral rerun. Mayor R.T. Rybak will finish his third term next year and told the Star Tribune last week that even though he’s been a fervent supporter of and prominent surrogate for  President Obama, he hasn’t sought out a job in Washington, nor has he been offered one.

He told the paper: “My family and I are just going to get together, probably over the holidays, and decide.”

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