Boston City Councilor John Connolly, who announced last month he would run for mayor, officially kicked off his campaign Wednesday night.
Several hundred people gathered at the historic Omni Parker House Hotel in downtown Boston to offer their support to Connolly. Among those in the room were Connolly's parents. His mother, Judge Lynda Connolly, retired earlier this month as chief administrative judge of the Massachusetts District Courts.
Connolly's father, former Massachusetts Secretary of State Michael Connolly, said he is looking forward to what his son could do for the city.
"Because he believes in education, he is a lover of education," Michael Connolly said. "When he graduated from college he headed to New York City to teach at Nativity Prep to help these kids who had nothing."
John Connolly went on to teach in Boston Renaissance Charter School. Currently, his daughter is in kindergarten in Boston Public Schools. He and his wife, Meg Connolly, also have a younger child, a son, and they're expecting their third child this summer.
Education is a cornerstone of Connolly's campaign. But the fiery speech he delivered Wednesday night focused on the culture of City Hall and promised transparency.
"Too often City Hall operates in a manner that's about who you know rather than who you are," he said. "Too often City Hall judges a new idea based on whose idea it is as opposed to the merit of the idea. And too often City Hall makes a decision on an idea based on who will get credit and not on who will benefit."
The 39-year-old, who has been a city councilor since 2008, doesn't yet know if he'll be running against the incumbent. Mayor Thomas Menino has yet to say whether he'll seek an unprecedented sixth term. Before his speech, Connolly said he is in the race whether the mayor runs or not.
"He's earned the right to take as much time as he wants before he decides. But on top of that, one of the reasons why he's a master is because he doesn't show his cards," Connolly said. "We'll know when he's ready for us to know, but that doesn't matter for me, I'm running."
The filing deadline for Boston's mayoral race is May 13.
This program aired on March 21, 2013.