The jockeying has begun ahead of next year's mayoral election in Minneapolis.

With R.T. Rybak still mulling whether he'll seek a fourth term, one City Council member has thrown her hat in the ring if he chooses to step aside at the end of his term in 2013.

Betsy Hodges, the council's budget chair, filed campaign finance paperwork this week with Hennepin County announcing her intentions to run for the city's top post.

"I want the city to keep running well," said Hodges, who represents the southwest corner of Minneapolis. "I want us to build a great city of the future."

Hodges says she won't run, however, if Rybak decides to seek another term. Rybak has said he'll decide before Jan. 1 -- some have speculated he could land a spot in Washington. Hodges said Rybak knows of her intentions, but she has no information about his plans for the future.

"R.T. is a good mayor," Hodges said. "If he chose to serve again, I would respect that."

Before joining the council, Hodges served as a development director for nonprofits, most recently the Minnesota Justice Foundation. In July 2011, she married Gary Cunningham, who represents Minneapolis on the Metropolitan Council.

As budget chair for nearly three years, Hodges has had the high-profile but difficult task of shepherding the budget through the council. "It's given me a first-hand working knowledge of how the city works," Hodges said.

One of Hodges' fellow council members, Gary Schiff, is also considering a run for the city's top spot. He said last week that he will wait until January to decide.

Hodges was one of six council members who voted against the Vikings stadium deal this spring, though she downplayed the contentious vote when asked about it.

"I know that there a number of people who care about the issue," Hodges said. "But I also know that folks in Minneapolis are focused on their basic services and focused on [where] the city's going in the future. But I'm sure it will play some role."

Eric Roper • 612-673-1732 • Twitter: @StribRoper