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Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Kenneth Polite Jr. announced his resignation Friday as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana. He initially said he had not ruled out a run for office, fueling speculation he might join the race for New Orleans mayor, but this week, Polite told WWL-TV he won't be a candidate. Here, Polite addresses the audience during the inauguration of Randy Smith as St. Tammany Parish Sheriff on July 1, 2016, at Church of the King in Mandeville.


For those itching to see Kenneth Polite Jr. trading barbs with New Orleans trash magnate and reality TV star Sidney Torres IV on the mayoral campaign trail, perish the thought.

Once the smoke cleared on his resignation — then removal — as U.S. attorney in New Orleans on Friday, Polite swiftly dispensed with the notion that he would launch a bid this year for the mayor's office.

Polite had left the door open Friday when asked about a possible run, saying, "I don't want to speculate about what may be down the road."

But he has since slammed it shut. In an interview Wednesday, Polite said he is "unequivocally" out as a potential candidate. 

"It's just not something I've ever really seriously considered as an option. To go from public office to another public office is not what I imagine doing," Polite said.

"The rumors are very flattering, but I think there's a lot that we can accomplish from outside of government right now."

Polite acknowledged that he'd been solicited for a political run, but he denied putting much stock in the idea.

"I tried to be as candid as possible with people about my lack of interest in doing anything like that," he said.

Polite told WWL-TV — which reported earlier this week that he wouldn't seek the mayor's office — that he hasn't ruled out a future in politics. But he said he wouldn't want to launch a campaign for office without the money to remain independent, a virtue that Torres has trumpeted in his own public flirtations with a mayoral bid.

"That's certainly an important factor," Polite said Wednesday. "I've got young kids. I've got to make sure they're well taken care of and set up my family's future for the long run."

He had meant to stay in office another two weeks. But the Sept. 24 departure date that Polite picked for himself was trumped by Attorney General Jeff Sessions' call for the immediate resignations of Polite and 45 other holdover U.S. attorneys who were appointed under Obama.

Polite said Wednesday that he was still wrapping up meetings at the U.S. Attorney's Office "to ensure a smooth transition" with Duane Evans, his former top deputy and now the acting U.S. attorney.

Polite, a registered independent, has said he'll remain in New Orleans and plans to take some time off.

"I haven't really even firmed up any plans yet," he said.

Follow John Simerman on Twitter, @johnsimerman.