The race to represent District 8 on the Boston City Council is heating up, with the sons of two famous local political figures squaring off.
Joshua Zakim, son of the late civil rights activist Leonard P. Zakim, announced Friday. Zakim said he wants to represent the district, which encompasses the West End, Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Fenway, Kenmore, Mission Hill, and Audubon Circle. The seat is currently held by Councilor Michael P. Ross, who announced Thursday that he will run for mayor.
"Boston's recent history is a story of building bridges amongst the city's different racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups," Zakim said in the statement. "We have found that together we can be much stronger than the sum of our parts. Boston must continue fostering inclusiveness in all of our institutions and activities.
"As a city councilor I will work tirelessly to increase our children's access to a quality education, support our innovators and job creators, and make sure that Boston remains livable for all of our residents."
Zakim will vie with Greg Timilty, cofounder of BlueFin Research Partners. His father, Joseph F. Timilty, was a state senator, city councilor, and Boston mayoral candidate.
Greg Timilty ran in 1999 for an at-large seat on the council.
"I ran as a progressive in '99 probably before it was cool, and I want to run the same type of campaign now, just on a district level," he said.
Timilty, who has children ages 2 and 5 and whose wife is a Boston public school teacher, said improving the school system would be a priority.
"That's the biggest issue for me, and I think this is going to be a real opportunity to work on these issues and take things in a new direction," he said.
Joshua Zakim, a graduate of the Northeastern University School of Law, has worked as a municipal bond attorney at Mintz Levin, as an attorney for Greater Boston Legal Services, and at the Lenny Zakim Fund.
"Through my work with the Lenny Zakim Fund, I have continued to perpetuate my father's legacy by engaging with hundreds of Bostonians throughout all of our neighborhoods," Zakim said.
His father is the namesake of the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge.
Johanna Kaiser can be reached at Johanna.yourtown@