State Representative Martin J. Walsh formally announced Wednesday that he will be a candidate for mayor of Boston, vowing to run a campaign anchored around his record as a legislator, which includes touting accomplishments in economic development, education, and substance abuse treatment.
Walsh acknowledged last week when asked by reporters that he planned to mount a mayoral bid, eschewing the tactics of most politicians, who often give noncommittal answers about a campaign, hoping to maximize the splash in a choreographed announcement. To the chagrin of his political operatives and communications specialists, Walsh acknowledged that he doesn’t have much of a filter.
“When you ask me a question, I’m giving you an answer,” Walsh said in an hour-long interview Wednesday, on his 46th birthday. “That’s just who I am. It’s how I grew up. I don’t want to play that dodge game, even in the campaign.”
His campaign issued a statement Wednesday that said he had $200,000 in his campaign account and had commitments from backers to raise at least $400,000 more. In the statement, Walsh said that effective Friday, he will resign from his post as business manager of the Boston Building Trades, an umbrella group that represents 16 unions constituted of ironworkers, electricians, and others.
He will be one of at least eight candidates vying to succeed Mayor Thomas M. Menino. In his campaign, Walsh will have strong ties to organized labor, which may be a significant boost in a crowded preliminary election in which a strong field organization may make the difference.
“I want to be mayor, number one, because I love the city,” Walsh said Wednesday. “I want to be mayor because I have a record of accomplishment over 16 years as a legislator representing the people of Boston. I’m the most qualified person to hold this office.”
Other candidates include City Councilors John R. Connolly, Rob Consalvo, and Felix G. Arroyo; Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley; and Bill Walczak, a founder of Codman Square Health Center in Dorchester.
Two other people, Will Dorcena and Charles Clemons, have also said they are running but have raised little money. Several other people have publicly said they are considering a campaign, including Councilor Michael P. Ross and John F. Barros, a school committee member and executive director of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative.
Walsh’s full statement appears below:
“Representative Martin J. Walsh formally announced today that he is running for mayor of Boston. I love this city—its people, its institutions, its traditions, and its innovations—and want to do all I can to see it continue to thrive. Boston is a diverse and welcoming center of creativity, where people are valued and possibilities are realized. The future of Boston depends on the education of our children, the strengthening of our working families, the protection of our vulnerable, and the growth of our businesses. I am running for mayor because I have the skills, record, and passion to do the job. I want to move our schools forward, create good jobs for local residents, and create an environment where families can prosper and businesses can grow.
“Walsh opened up a campaign account this week and has over $200,000 in the bank. In the few days since he opened this account, Walsh has captured commitments for an additional $400,000 toward his campaign.
“Walsh, a lifelong resident of Dorchester, has represented the 13th Suffolk District in Dorchester since 1997. In the Massachusetts House, he has been a steadfast voice for civil rights, working families, youth, seniors, and addiction and recovery services. He is the son of Irish immigrants, and attended St. Margaret’s in Dorchester and Newman Prep. He graduated from Boston College in 2009, working his way through college at night while serving the the state Legislature.
“He currently holds a leadership position in the House as the chairman of the Committee on Ethics, and he is the co-chair of the Massachusetts Democratic Party Labor Caucus. He serves as a board member for local organizations such as the Dorchester Boys and Girls Club, the Gavin Foundation, the University of Massachusetts Labor Caucus, Friends for Children, Project D.E.E.P., and the Neighborhood House Charter School. In the past, Representative Walsh has been president of the Columbia Savin Hill Civic Association, Dorchester Allied Neighborhood Association, and the Savin Hill Baseball League. Walsh has also been the business manager of the Boston Building Trades, a position which he is resigning effective Friday, April 12, 2013, to pursue the mayoral bid. He is a member of the Laborers Local 223.
“Walsh will kick off his campaign on Saturday, May 4, at 10 a.m. with a rally at a Dorchester location to be announced. Said Walsh, ‘We plan to gather hundreds of supporters, neighbors, and friends, and begin a grass roots neighbor-to-neighbor campaign that will take us to all corners of the city. I will be a mayor for all of Boston, and I look forward to meeting with voters and taking that message out there.’ ”