Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak announced Thursday afternoon that he will not be running for a fourth term. Rybak made his plans for 2013 known during an afternoon press conference at Midtown Global Market.
"I owe it to those around me, and to myself, to get a bit more balance in my life," said Rybak in a statement released on his blog. "I also think that after 12 years, the city will benefit from a fresh perspective. So, I will not run for a fourth term."
While it isn't known what Rybak will do next, he is expected to lay out his agenda for 2013 in early January.
Rybak's announcement Thursday comes less than a year before voters in the city of almost 400,000 people pick a mayor. Several potential candidates have expressed interest in running, although some were waiting on the Democratic incumbent's plans.
The decision should ramp up speculation about Rybak's next political move. The 57-year-old has been mentioned as a possible addition to President Barack Obama's administration or a future contender for governor.
Since Rybak won the office in 2001, the city has undergone a dramatic transformation. Two major sports stadiums have been built and a third is on the way. Rybak also took a visible role in the aftermath of the Interstate 35W bridge collapse in 2007.
On Thursday, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman released a statement saying Rybak's leadership has benefited both the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and the state, citing large infrastructure projects and green initiatives as major accomplishments.
"Both Minneapolis and Saint Paul came together to find ways we could work together for the benefit of our region. I join the rest of our community when I say he will be missed and that we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors, whatever they may be," he said. "At the very least, I hope his stage diving days at First Ave. haven't come to an end."
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.