NEW ORLEANS -- The race for mayor might soon have another serious contender.

State Sen. Karen Carter Peterson told WWL-TV political analyst and Gambit columnist Clancy DuBos she will make her decision before qualifying begins June 12 and ends July 14.

“It won’t be some 4 o'clock thing on Friday,” Peterson told DuBos. “I’m doing all the due diligence that a serious potential candidate has to do.”

Peterson said she has been “encouraged by many, many friends” to enter the race because of the current field, which includes former Judge Michael Bagneris, District B Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell, former Municipal Court Judge Desiree Charbonnet and businessman Frank Scurlock.

Peterson told DuBos her due diligence includes polling, strategy and meeting with Cantrell, whom she described as “a dear friend.”

In addition to her position in the state Senate, Peterson is a vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Party, a post she told DuBos she would continue to hold if elected mayor. She also is chairwoman of the state Democratic Party. She said she would give up the state position if elected mayor.