He previously expressed interest in running for U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy’s seat, but it was never more apparent than Monday evening at the Jefferson Jackson Bailey dinner where supporters were handing out guitar shaped stickers that said “Chris Donovan for Congress.”

Donovan, one of the most powerful men in the state legislature, waited until a budget deal was completed before softly announcing his campaign for the Fifth Congressional seat being vacated by Murphy, who is running for U.S. Senate. But even with the sticker Donovan played coy and refused to say it was official.

In a brief interview after exiting the V.I.P. room at the Connecticut Convention Center, Donovan said he’s the only candidate in the race who is already working to better the state for the people of Connecticut. He said he wants to work for them now in Washington D.C.

He will have about two weeks to formally file his candidacy now that he’s spent under $5,000 on the campaign.

Supporters, like Rep. Peter Tercyak, D-New Britain, said the move shows how different Donovan is from the rest of the candidates.

“How bold to do this instead of a carefully staged event,” Tercyak said. “He’s different. He’s bold.”

Elizabeth Esty, the former state representative from Cheshire, who has been in the race for a little over a month, said, “I think the glasses worked for Kevin Lembo. Lean and mean.”

Esty didn’t seem fazed by Donovan’s entrance into the race, which was widely anticipated. Esty was not handing out any campaign trinkets to the party faithful Monday evening.

Also in attendance was Mike Williams, another Democrat who announced just last week. And Dan Roberti, yet another Democratic candidate in the race.