PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mayor Michael Nutter confirmed publicly for the first time on Wednesday that he will seek re-election next year.

The word came as Nutter appeared on KYW Newsradio’sAsk The Mayor” program.

No one following city politics had any doubt that Nutter would seek another term as Philadelphia’s mayor, but until now he had not said so publicly.

But asked point-blank about it on KYW’s “Ask the Mayor,” Nutter confirmed that he will indeed seek four more years.

(Dunn:)  “Next year is an election year.  Will you be running for re-election?”

(Nutter:)  “Yes.”

Nutter added he hasn’t been thinking much about next year’s election at this point and is more focused on running the government.

Hear the entire “Ask The Mayor” episode in this CBS Philly Podcast…

But political analyst Randall Miller of St. Joseph’s University says there is a strategic value to Nutter declaring this now.

“Mayor Nutter, although he cheated a potential press conference where he can make an announcement by saying something on the radio this morning that he definitely was in, basically is trying to clear the field by making that obvious assertion — that ‘I’m in and you’re going to have to challenge me,’ ” Randall told KYW Newsradio following the mayor’s announcement.

Only one long-shot candidate, John Featherman, has said he’ll challenge Nutter, although millionaire and former candidate Tom Knox says he’s also considering doing so.

Another former candidate, Sam Katz, says he will not run. The deadline for potential opponents to file is March 23rd.

Reported by KYW City Hall Bureau Chief Mike Dunn.