Boston City Councilor John Connolly (center) during a 2011 council meeting. (Metro) Boston City Councilor John Connolly (center) during a 2011 council meeting. (Metro)

Boston City Councilor John Connolly plans to challenge longtime Boston Mayor Thomas Menino in November's election.

Connolly is expected to formally announce his candidacy Monday morning outside Brighton High School. His campaign website is already online, and includes a three-minute video in which Connolly introduces himself to voters.

Connolly, 39, was elected as an At-Large Councilor in 2007. A graduate of Harvard and Boston College Law School, Connolly grew up in Roslindale. He and his family live in West Roxbury.

 

A former middle school teacher, Connolly chairs the council's Committee on Education, and plans to make improving schools a cornerstone of his campaign.

"I'm running for mayor because Boston should be the first city in America to transform urban public schools, and offer every child a world-class education," Connolly says in the online video. "Whether or not you have a child, we all need our Boston Public Schools to work, because great schools equal great neighborhoods."

Connolly praises Menino in the video, calling him a "good man."

"I respect him immensely, but transforming our schools requires new ideas, new energy, and a bold desire to break the status quo," Connelly continues.

Menino, who was first elected in 1993, has not said whether he'll run for a sixth term. He's already the longest-serving mayor in city history, and must file papers by May if he intends to seek reelection.

One factor that may influence Menino's decision is his health. The 70-year-old was hospitalized for nearly two months at the end of last year for a variety of problems, and was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Connolly says he's in the race no matter what Menino decides -- and that he won't turn the mayor's health into a campaign issue.

Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBos

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