Rep. Martin J. Walsh says he will jump into mayoral race; Councilor Felix Arroyo considering a run

State Representative Martin J. Walsh said today that he will jump into the race to succeed Mayor Thomas M. Menino.

“I’m definitely a candidate,” Walsh said. “I’m going to announce at some point in the near future. I’m making phone calls and locking support up.”

Also today, City Councilor Felix G. Arroyo sent a letter to his supporters telling them he is “seriously considering running for mayor of Boston.”

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Walsh, a Dorchester Democrat who chairs the House Committee on Ethics, has been a state representative since 1997. He is considered a strong supporter of labor.

“Marty is planning on sharing his vision to continue moving Boston forward in the coming days,” a posting on Walsh’s campaign website said this afternoon inviting people to sign up to “learn the details of when and where his first major event will be.”

Arroyo’s letter, sent to more than 10,000 recpients by e-mail and US mail, represented Arroyo’s strongest signal yet that he would enter the race. In the letter, Arroyo made a fund-raising plea to his supporters, saying he would need $1 million to run a competitive race.

“Your donation will make this campaign a reality,” Arroyo said in the letter, adding, “I am a son of Boston. I love our city. Together, we will move Boston forward.”

Menino announced last week he would not seek a sixth term, opening a floodgate of potential candidates. City Councilor John R. Connolly was the only major candidate to launch his bid before Menino said publicly he would not seek reelection.

Now that there is an open seat, other potential candidates include City Councilors Michael P. Ross and Rob Consalvo, state Representative Jeffrey Sanchez, and Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley.

Candidates can begin on April 17 to apply for nomination papers, the first step in securing their name on the ballot for a preliminary election Sept. 24. The top two votegetters will face off in a final election Nov. 5.