EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell isn’t ready to throw his hat back into the ring just yet.

Mitchell — a Democrat who was first elected in 2011 — is up for reelection in the fall, but said he has not made up his mind on whether he wants to seek another four-year term.

“I can tell you I have not decided yet,” Mitchell said during a taping of WPRI 12’s Newsmakers. “It’s hard to walk away from something you really like. It’s hard to walk away from something you find gratifying.”

But Mitchell also said he has achieved many of the goals he set a decade ago, including increasing the graduation rate at New Bedford High School, lowering the city’s unemployment rate and positioning the city to capitalize on the emerging offshore wind industry.

“There is something to be said about leaving the stage while people are still clapping,” Mitchell said. “I didn’t set out to do this job just to perpetuate myself in office. I think a lot of office holders do that.”

He said there is a certain “intimacy” to being mayor that is unique from other elected positions.

“You go to the funerals and the wakes and you’re there when people need you,” he said. “You have to be there and have people’s backs. It’s hard to sever yourself from that.”

Mitchell has previously made his campaign announcements late spring or early summer. Asked if he plans to do that again, he said, “I don’t know.”

“All this talk is really raising my blood pressure,” he laughed. “I’m just laying this all out, just baring my soul. Like a therapy session.”

Tim White (twhite@wpri.com) is the Target 12 managing editor and chief investigative reporter at 12 News, and the host of Newsmakers. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.