No, he’s not.
The longtime architect and 2009 runner-up to Marilyn Strickland dropped by The News Tribune today to spread the word that he’s finally made a decision.
But, Merritt added with a grin: “I’m not done.”
Merritt, who after losing a tight race to Strickland two years ago, had considered running for seats coming open on the City Council this year. The council’s District 1 race — which already is drawing a crowd of candidates — seemed the likely option, as Merritt dominated votes in that district during the mayoral election.
But Merritt said after wrestling with a decision, he opted against a run.
“Out of respect to my friends and supporters who are wondering what I’m doing, I decided they needed an answer,” he said. “And all the rest (the other candidates), they don’t have to wonder. I wish you all well.”
Merritt said the costs of his mayoral campaign — he infused $10,000 of his own money into the race — may have played some factor in his decision. “But if I felt compelled to do it, I would do it at the drop of a hat,” he said.
During our talk, Merritt also expressed some regret that, as a first time candidate, “I didn’t get my message out clearly enough.”
“I didn’t (run) to have a position,” he added. “I did this to transform the city in 2009. I still want to transform the city.”
Asked if he has his sights still set on the mayor’s office — and a potential rematch with Strickland in two years — Merritt smiled.
“What the future holds, we’ll see,” he said. “It’s a pretty open slate to me.”