NEW ORLEANS -- Putting an end to months of speculation, state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson will not run for mayor of New Orleans.

She announced her decision Wednesday on social media, a week before qualifying begins and just days after she told WWL-TV political analyst and Gambit columnist Clancy DuBos she was still mulling the idea.

“I am thankful for the continued support and confidence expressed by so many citizens of our great City. I'm honored by the trust voters have bestowed on me and plan to continue my public service in the Louisiana Senate, focusing on important issues of access to affordable healthcare, equity in public education, voting rights, and criminal justice reform,” Peterson wrote Wednesday in announcing her decision to not seek the city's highest elected office.

She said the city is poised to “reclaim its position as a regional economic powerhouse and continue as a leading international destination” but said the city must make sure that each citizen can share in that success.

“With public safety, neighborhood revitalization, and increased economic opportunity for all at the forefront of voters concerns, the next mayor must offer bold solutions to these systemic problems.

Peterson told Gambit she had 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.

"At a time when people were expecting the field of major candidates to get bigger, it just got smaller," DuBos said. "This is very good news for the announced female candidates. At the same time, it is still possible that the field of major candidates could grow by the time qualifying opens. This is always a very interesting time in New Orleans politics."

Qualifying for the fall municipal elections begins July 12 and ends July 14.