Noted South End civil rights activist and former state representative Mel King said late Tuesday he is supporting Martin J. Walsh’s bid for mayor.

King, who ran for mayor in 1983, is the only person of color in city history to make it into the final election.

When asked why he is supporting Walsh, King said, “Change.”

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

And why Walsh, a state representative, over his opponent, City Councilor John R. Connolly? “It’s not a between,” King said. “It’s a decision about a direction to find the possibility represented in his work and his life and issues.”

The official endorsement news conference is planned for 5 p.m. Wednesday, he said.