John Connolly claims $70k March campaign haul

Boston mayoral candidate John Connolly raised over $70,000 last month, his campaign said today, as a slew of other potential successors to Mayor Thomas M. Menino spent the day mulling campaigns and lining up support.

The March fundraising haul gives the at-large councilor, so far the only declared major candidate, almost $200,000 since the beginning of the year, according to the campaign and state finance records.

As of Feb. 28, Connolly had about $335,000 in his account.

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The March numbers are evidence of Connolly’s head start on the rest of the field, whose prospective members are spending the early days of the wide-open campaign assessing their own chances and who else might run.

“I built a swing set with my kid and spent it with my family,” said state representative Jeffrey Sanchez, who is considering a mayoral bid, when asked what he did over the weekend.

Quietly, though, potential candidates have been meeting with activists and strategists in advance of a rapidly approaching milestone on the municipal election calendar: April 17, the first day candidates can apply for nomination papers.

At least one local politician who has been the subject of widespread speculation has decided against it.

Public Safety Secretary Andrea Cabral, who lives in Jamaica Plain, categorically ruled out a run on Tuesday, saying, “I’m not doing it.”

Cabral, appointed to her public safety post by Governor Deval Patrick after working as Suffolk County sheriff, said she intended to keep a promise to the governor.

“I committed to the governor that I would be here for two years. I’m his public safety secretary. And I meant that when I said it.”