State Representative Martin J. Walsh, who as the son of Irish immigrants rose from the hard labor of construction to a position of power on Beacon Hill, formally announced Wednesday that he will be a candidate for mayor of Boston.
The prospect of Walsh’s candidacy has already been celebrated in the west of Ireland, where his photograph was splashed across the pages of a local paper that boasted of his ties to Connemara.
His story may evoke the old Boston and a century of mayors with Irish surnames, but he said his candidacy will resonate in what has been called the new Boston, an increasingly diverse city populated by a tapestry of skin tones and ethnicities.
“I think the people of Boston are going to elect a mayor who they can best relate to, they can trust, and they feel will represent their best interests,” Walsh said in an hourlong interview Wednesday, on his 46th birthday. “If you have a family that is being devastated by substance abuse, I don’t think it matters whether it is old Boston or new Boston. If you have economic problems and you are about to lose your house, I don’t think it matters whether it is old Boston or new Boston.”
Walsh vowed to anchor his campaign around his work in the Legislature, which he said emphasized economic development, education, and substance abuse treatment. He said his achievements will set him apart in a field dominated by members of the City Council, a body with limited political power.
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