Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu issued a statement this afternoon making it clear that he will not be running for mayor of New Orleans in 2010:
I am flattered that my name is considered in the long list of those who could serve as the next Mayor of the City of New Orleans. Like so many of us, I have an undying and unconditional love for our city. It is my home. I always have the resurrection of New Orleans in the forefront of my mind and will continue to do so in the coming years. Rebuilding New Orleans is critically important to the state and the nation.
However, I do not intend to run for Mayor of New Orleans. There are many capable people who will make themselves available and who will serve well, if elected. I look forward to working with the next mayor and the people of the city to make New Orleans the great place we all know she can be.
Should Landrieu have thrown his hat in the ring, he would've been the clear frontrunner.
Clancy DuBos is on vacation, but I reached him by phone; he's going to analyze the new horse race later on today on the blog, as well as Landrieu's possible motivations. For now, he says, "This means the race is wide, wide open."