Mayor Coleman announces he will not be seeking re-election in 2017
Mayor thanks family, community partners, city employees for eleven years of hard work and support
SAINT PAUL –With family and close friends by his side, Mayor Chris Coleman today announced that he will not be seeking re-election as Mayor of Saint Paul in 2017. After reflecting over his nearly three terms in office, he raised a glass to Saint Paul, its residents, and the myriad community members, city staff and leaders who have contributed to the city’s success.
“No leader succeeds alone,” said Mayor Coleman. “I have been blessed in this journey with countless hardworking city employees, department directors, deputy mayors and staff who have picked up every challenge before them; my colleagues on the City Council, at the County Board and the State Legislature; community members who have led the charge on everything from bikes to recycling; business owners who have continued to invest in this city, bringing jobs and vitality to every corner of town.”
The Mayor threw out a ‘Greatest Hits’ list, mentioning projects and initiatives such as the Green Line, CHS Field, Arlington Hills Community Center, Sprockets, sustainability work and the Penfield and Lunds – noting that what tends to get lost in lists are the people who drove those projects, or were touched by their efforts.
Noting Saint Paul’s rise, particularly since the Recession, the Mayor emphasized the unique character of the city that has served to propel it forward and to maintain a focus on being a community that is a great place to live and work.
“What I have loved the most about this journey is that we have never lost sight of what Saint Paul is," said Mayor Coleman. "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.”
He talked about growing up near the Schmidt Brewery and the neighbors he knew. “They were cops and firefighters, union mechanics for Northwest Airlines. They earned good wages, raised their families and retired in comfort,” he said. He stressed the work the community has done to retain good-paying jobs at places like RockTenn.
The Mayor also talked about all the work yet to be done in the city, both during his last year in office and beyond, including the opening of Palace Theater, construction on the new Major League Soccer stadium, continued work at the former Ford site and work around racial equity. He emphasized the need for cities to take the lead more than ever before around issues such as climate change, and to be a beacon for people of all backgrounds seeking refuge.
“Cities will still be a light of hope for people like my mother, who grew up so poor she was lucky some nights to have a piece of white bread with lard on it for dinner," said Mayor Coleman. "And yet, she went on to college, raised six kids and got to see her son become the Mayor of her hometown.”
“Beyond the coming year, I know that the work will continue into the future because of all of you,” said Mayor Coleman. “You, who love this city and believe in it as much as I do. You are what I am most proud of, and I am so grateful for all we have accomplished together.”
Read the Mayor's complete as-prepared remarks at www.stpaul.gov/departments/mayors-office/news-room/mayor-chris-coleman's-remarks.