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In wide-ranging interview, Graves discusses decision against re-election; no plans to run for mayor

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BATON ROUGE — Congressman Garret Graves is speaking candidly about his decision not to seek re-election in the district he's represented for nine years. Another term could have possibly netted him the top post on the House Transportation Committee.

"Look, this isn't what I wanted. I'll be really clear. It's not what I wanted. It's not what I anticipated. I mean being chair of that committee is something that I was really looking forward to doing because of the huge impact it could have on south Louisiana," Graves said.

But now he admits, politics got in the way. Saying he believes he was pushed out as a result of supporting certain people over others.

"There's a lot more to the story and I do think that over time a bunch of that is going to come out and I will tell you, when I look back at the decisions that we made, sure I would change a few little things on the fringe. But I will tell you I really wouldn't change 99 percent of the decisions that were made," he said.

Now the questions turn to what's next. It won't be a run to be Baton Rouge mayor-president.

"I don't have any desire to run for mayor. I will say that this city has amazing potential and we really do need to get this city on the right track," he said in an interview in the WBRZ newsroom.

Graves says he has received multiple calls and emails from people urging him to enter the mayor's race. But he said he will not be entering the race, at least for now.

"Candidly, is there an attraction to being kind of an executive? Yeah, because you can be more impactful and you're not one of 535 as you are in Congress. You're the CEO of the city. So is there some sort of polar attraction? Yeah. But this timing is not right," Graves said. "This is not in the cards for us."

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