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Menino on Connolly: “Young man. Wants to be mayor. Good luck to him.”

In his first talk with reporters since City Councillor At-Large John Connolly announced that he wants his job, Mayor Thomas Menino wished his potential challenger luck while declining to say whether he’ll be running for a sixth term.

“Young man,” Menino said. “Wants to be mayor. Good luck to him.” Connolly’s wife, Meg, is a “good mother,” he added.

Reporters pressed him on when he would announce whether he’s running again. “There’s a time and place for everything and I’ll have that time and place shortly,” Menino said, adding that there was no time table.

Menino and Connolly had a phone conversation Tuesday afternoon. “I just said ‘good luck to you and let’s work together and let’s have a nice, good campaign,’” Menino said. “‘Let’s discuss the issues, the real issues, all the issues of Boston.’”

Connolly, who offered kind words for Menino in Tuesday’s media interviews before launching into a criticism of his administration’s education record, described their conversation as cordial.

“He said that he thought that we would have fun and focus on, you know, all the issues and I very much said the same thing,” Connolly said on WGBH’s “Greater Boston.”

When the host Emily Rooney pressed him on whether he had the sense Menino would be running again, Connolly said, “I don’t know. With him, you know, the conversation certainly would indicate that. But I’ll just say this: I mean, I don’t think he’s going to let us know anytime soon.”

Menino told reporters on Wednesday that he enjoys campaigning. “I enjoy people. I mean, that’s why I do this job,” he said. “It’s about people, about helping people, making a difference in people’s lives, that’s what I do. If he doesn’t think it’s fun, then too bad for him.”

Menino spoke with reporters before heading into grand opening of East Boston's Meridian Market Café.

Connolly, a 39-year-old former teacher who was elected to the City Council in 2007, launched his campaign outside Brighton High School yesterday and called the school “emblematic of the fallout from a deep failure of leadership that has left us with a $500 million hole on needed repairs and maintenance across our schools.”

Menino defended his education record. “Everybody outside wants to take on the schools. They’re a good target for everyone,” he said, pointing to higher graduation rates and lower drop-out rates under his administration. “We’re doing OK,” he said.

EDIT: This post was edited at 6:31 p.m. to fix a typo in the last graph.