So Who’s Running for Mayor of Boston Now?

A look at the much-mentioned potential candidates.

Mayor Tom Menino’s decision to not seek reelection will likely set off a free-for-all among those who have waited patiently on the sidelines for a sign that the race might be within reach. Menino hasn’t left would-be candidates much time to organize themselves—but looking too eager while Menino weighed his decision risked pissing him off. That means that the field of candidates, though not short, is probably limited to a list of people with enough fundraising potential and/or name recognition to set up a viable campaign in time for the preliminary election in September. Below is a list of names of candidates or potential candidates we see mentioned most often. It’s not exhaustive. Other councilors, elected officials, or maybe even well-funded outsiders could always jump in. But surprises aside, the odds are pretty good that the next mayor of Boston is somewhere on this list:

connollyCandidate: John Connolly

Who is he? Connolly is an at-large member of the city council.

Will he run? Well, he’s already running so … yes. What once looked like an unlikely challenge to Menino now seems like a pretty smart decision to jump into the race early and get a head-start on fundraising and raising his profile. Connolly has been running, by necessity as a foil to Menino, with the public school system as his animating issue. Whether he continues to preach “change” or switches his message to continuity now that Menino’s out will be interesting to see.

conleyCandidate: Dan Conley

Who is he? The district attorney for Suffolk County.

Will he run? Unclear, but Howie Carr (of all people) rather tidily sums up his fairly solid position. “He’s from Hyde Park, he’s half-Italian, he’s run citywide three times, he has something like $850,000 in his campaign war chest. And I repeat, he’s Suffolk’s chief prosecutor.” The Globe also made much of the fact that Conley introduced Menino at an event last week, describing him as a “second father.”

Candidate: consalvoRob Consalvo

Who is he? Consalvo is the District 5 City Councilor from Hyde Park.

Will he run? He’s said he’d be interested if Menino were to step aside, so it seems likely. And he is, at the least, one to watch. He’s a longtime friend and neighbor of the mayor (Howie Carr calls him “mini-me”) and onetime subject of rumors that Menino would try to install him as his successor. He’s also political whiz David Bernstein’s favorite to win.

pressleyCandidate: Ayanna Pressley

Who is she? She’s an at-large city councilor who lives in Dorchester.

Will she run? She hasn’t said, but in a crowded field of candidates for several at-large seats in 2011, she won the most votes, and she’s often mentioned on lists of those who might have a good shot. She doesn’t have much money but she’d sure get a lot of buzz from people energized by the idea of an African-American female in the mayor’s office.

walshCandidate: Martin J. Walsh

Who is he? Walsh is the state representative from Dorchester.

Will he run? “If the mayor decides not to seek another term, I’m absolutely going to be running,” he told the Boston Globe. He has about $200,000 in the bank, he tells the paper. He’s also mentioned as a potential candidate to replace U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch if Lynch manages to get elected to the Senate, though current polling suggests that’s not likely.

Candidate: Tito Jacksontitojackson

Who is he? He’s the city councilor for the 7th district, which includes Roxbury and pieces of Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, the South End and the Fenway.

Will he run? He’s another who has said he’d be interested should Menino step aside, but he’s got less money than folks like Walsh.

(We should add here that there are city councilors who haven’t said whether they’d be interested, but who have nonetheless been building campaign accounts and often get mentions as likely candidates. In particular Felix Arroyo and Mike Ross.)

dorcenaCandidate: Will Dorcena

Who is he? A candidate for at-large city councilor in 2011.

Will he run? Dorcena is already running, though the fact that you didn’t know that probably isn’t a good sign. The Globe reports that he has basically no money and won just 5 percent of the vote in his councilor campaign.

dorcenaCandidate: Charles Clemons, cofounder of TOUCH 106.1 FM.

Who is he? Cofounder of TOUCH 106.1 FM.

Will he run? Like Dorcena, he’s already running, and like Dorcena, he’s not raising much money. We mention them only because they’ve already declared.