Connolly announced his run with a rebuke of what he said is business as usual in the state house.
"Beacon Hill is a place where corporate lobbyists and party leaders team up to put the interests of the rich and powerful ahead of our common needs," Connolly said in the statement. "Meanwhile, rank-and-file legislators are granted a few favors in exchange for quietly going along with the status quo."
So far, more than 200 people have signed up to "donate $0.00," according to his website.
Running as an independent progressive, Connolly said he would work to correct the broken funding scheme at the MBTA, which has saddled the agency with massive debt that forced service cuts and fare increases earlier this year.
He also advocates for clean election laws, and single-payer health care, a vastly simplified health system that would place the government at the center of all care transactions.
"Lots of politicians promise to clean up government - in the future, after the next election - but I am not a politician - and our campaign is working to provide you with the opportunity to clean up government right now," Connolly wrote.