Insiders say that it’s all but official: Richard Parsons, Time Warner’s chairman and CEO, will run for mayor. The affable Parsons has just under two years left on his contract, but when he elevated Jeffrey Bewkes to president and COO in December, thus anointing him as his successor, it was rumored that Parsons would step down early to return to public service. He started out in politics, working for Nelson Rockefeller and Gerald Ford, and his diplomatic talents helped tame his sprawling and fractious conglomerate, which ought to prepare him somewhat for the city bureaucracy. Plus, he was born in Bedford-Stuyvesant. One insider says Parsons could hand over the CEO job to Bewkes before his contract is up, while remaining chairman. That would give him an early jump for 2009, potentially beating out several other tycoons who see themselves as Mike Bloomberg-esque technocrats. Through a spokesperson, Parsons said that he would fulfill his contract to run the company through 2008.