We'd been hearing that Councilman-at-large Arnie Fielkow had been vacillating between running for mayor and running again for City Council, but that he'd definitely ruled out returning to the private sector. Late this afternoon, his office issued the following statement:
My family and I love the city of New Orleans and are blessed to live amongst the greatest people anywhere in this country. For the past three years, I have had the privilege, in partnership with the citizens and my colleagues, to serve as councilman-at-large. I have been honored to represent New Orleanians from all of our neighborhoods and believe, more than ever, that the future of New Orleans is incredibly bright.
After considerable deliberation, I have made the decision not to pursue the position of mayor of New Orleans at this time. There are many factors which contributed to this decision, both personally and professionally, but ultimately I believe this is in the best interest of my family and a unified community. We can and must get our recovery moving and with unity and trust, we can succeed. I look forward to fully supporting our next mayor in achieving that objective.
There are many ways to serve our great city and I hope to continue to contribute to New Orleans rebuilding and renaissance. At this time, I am now focusing on my campaign for re-election. It is vitally important that our great city reaches its untapped potential and we not be satisfied with merely bringing this city back to where we were in August, 2005.
Our City Council has been at the forefront in the recovery and rebuilding of New Orleans after Katrina. Often, facing serious and complex challenges, the council was required to set a firm direction in what New Orleans should do, and what we could afford to do. We fought for strong and sensible public policies in city government: established an independent inspector general's office; transparency in the city's contract and procurement practices; equity and equal opportunities for all our citizens; public-private partnerships in economic development; and revitalization of NORD.
Along with my colleagues, I led and fought for many of these initiatives in my first term as councilman-at-large, but clearly still much needs to be done. My family and I are deeply humbled by all of the expressions of encouragement and support we have received over the past several months. God bless our great community and let us all continue to have the "Courage to Do What is Right for a Better New Orleans."