Eight days after Martin J. Walsh was elected mayor of Boston, the race to succeed him as the state representative for a diverse swath of Dorchester is heating up.
Dan Hunt, director of government affairs at the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, said late Tuesday he would be a candidate for the 13th Suffolk District.
“I’m running because I have a strong commitment to public service, the neighborhood, and its people,” said Hunt, who appears to be the first person to jump in the race.
At least a half-dozen others have said they are mulling a bid to represent the district, which runs from near the JFK/UMass MBTA station to Walsh’s home base of Savin Hill to the Neponset neighborhood and also includes a tiny chunk of Quincy.
Steve Bickerton Jr., a 29-year-old Dorchester native who works for a property management company in Cambridge and helped out on Walsh’s mayoral campaign, said Tuesday he was pondering a run.
“I am very seriously looking at it,” he said.
Last week, five people besides Hunt told the Globe they were considering running:
— Former Walsh legislative aide Michael Christopher, 28, who works in the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security;
— Mariama White-Hammond, 34, executive director of Project HIP-HOP, a youth social justice and arts organization;
— Craig M. Galvin, 44, who owns a Dorchester real estate firm;
— Annissa Essaibi George, 39, who finished fifth in this month’s race for four at-large City Council seats; and
— Bill Walczak, 59, who lost in the preliminary mayoral election in September.
The seat has twice served as a springboard for serious mayoral candidates in the past twenty years. Walsh’s predecessor, former state Representative James T. Brett, ran unsuccessfully against Thomas M. Menino in 1993.
Walsh, who is not expected to endorse in the State House race, has said he will officially resign his seat early next year. When that happens, the Massachusetts House of Representatives, in consultation with the Secretary of State, will decide whether and when to hold a special election.
Walsh was elected mayor on Nov. 5, beating City Councilor at Large John R. Connolly.