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Saskatoon mayor Charlie Clark won't seek re-election

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Saskatoon mayor Charlie Clark won't run for re-election this fall.

He made the announcement during a news conference at city hall Wednesday afternoon.

"I only have a brief window of time to experience being a parent who isn't also a public figure and I want to get the most out of these last years with my kids," Clark said.

Clark has served two terms as mayor. Before that, he served as a city councillor for a decade.

"I actually didn't get into civic politics to make it a career. But after almost 18 years — life-changing years — on city council, I can tell in my heart that it's time for a new chapter in my life, and I honestly do not know what that is yet."

Clark preemptively dismissed any speculation he would plunge into provincial or federal politics.

"So to clear up some of the rumours, I do not plan on running for provincial or federal politics in any of the upcoming elections that are coming up in this cycle," Clark said.

At one point during his prepared remarks, Clark paused and choked as he reflected on some of the sacrifices that come along with the mayor's office.

"If you would look at the texts between Sarah (Clarks' wife) and I over the years, you'd see a record of so many nights when I said 'Oh I'll be home by five or 5:30 to help with supper and sit down with the family.' But some curveball would come in and I wouldn't be home until nine or 10," Clark said.

"And there have been so many nights when I've come home stressed and struggling with one issue or another."  

Clark said he plans to stay on as mayor, serving out the rest of his term.

"This city council has been elected until November and we still have very important work to do in the coming months," Clark said, referencing plans for a downtown entertainment district, and work that's still to come on shelters, housing and bus rapid transit.

Clark unseated incumbent mayor Don Atchison in 2016 and was re-elected in 2020.

In 1988, Cliff Wright was the last Saskatoon mayor who left office voluntarily instead of seeing defeat in a municipal election.

Saskatoon's next election is slated for Nov. 13.

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