Saint John mayor decides against running for Liberals in September election

Saint John Mayor Don Darling has decided against running for a seat in the legislature, telling readers of his blog on Tuesday that he can do more for the city if he stays where he is.

Darling makes announcement on his blog Tuesday

Saint John Mayor Don Darling says he won't be running for provincial office in September. (CBC)

Saint John Mayor Don Darling has decided against running for a seat in the legislature, telling readers of his blog on Tuesday that he can do more for the city if he stays where he is.

Earlier this month, Darling revealed that the New Brunswick Liberal Party had approached him, and he was considering running in Saint John Lancaster in September.

In the end, he decided against it, the mayor said on his Medium page.

"The question for me is: 'Where can I be most effective to serve the residents of my city?'" he wrote.

"I firmly believe the answer is to continue to represent Saint Johnners as your Mayor."

Thanks Liberals

Darling's announcement was littered with praise for the Liberals, and it came down harshly on other political parties, which he suggested were not interested in working with Saint John to solve its problems.

'From this day forward, whether Don Darling runs for MLA or not, he will be forever known as the Liberal Mayor from Saint John.' - Dorothy Shephard, Progressive Conservative MLA

"Over the past several months I have met with all 3 political parties to impress on them Saint John's financial situation and the structural changes that are required," Darling wrote.

"So far, only one party has stepped up to the plate to work with us, the New Brunswick Liberal Government."

Darling was fulsome in his praise for Premier Brian Gallant and the Liberals. (Rachel Cave/CBC)

CBC News tried to ask Darling to clarify which three parties and which of their representatives he talked to, but the mayor did not respond.

Darling also thanked the Liberal Party "for their confidence and invitation to join them in serving the people of New Brunswick."

Midway through term

His thoughts about running provincially came about halfway through his first term as mayor.

The riding he would've run in is held by Progressive Conservative MLA Dorothy Shephard, a former cabinet minister in the David Alward government.

Before Darling decided against running, Shephard appeared to criticize Darling for openly contemplating seeking provincial office as a Liberal while still mayor.

"From this day forward, whether Don Darling runs for MLA or not, he will be forever known as the Liberal Mayor from Saint John," wrote Shephard on twitter.