Former Democratic congressman Chris Bell will announce his mayoral bid this Sunday afternoon in Sam Houston Park, becoming the first candidate in a crowded field to officially kick off a run to lead City Hall.

There's some news here worth emphasizing.

As many as a dozen candidates could run for mayor this year, each of whom would likely need to raise $2 million to be competitive. In recent weeks, Bell has hired finance and policy staff, and he has been working with Bill Hyers, who mostly recently advised Bill de Blasio's come-from-behind campaign for mayor in New York, to plot his campaign moves.

Bell's most aggressive step toward a mayoral run has been his lawsuit against the city charging that Rep. Sylvester Turner should not be allowed to transfer much of his $1 million in his officeholder account to Turner's mayoral run. That suit, heard in state district court earlier this month, will likely move to federal court.

Hyers, 38, has been connected to Martin O'Malley's 2016 presidential campaign as 'senior adviser' and AirBNB as 'consultant' in recent months.  A year ago it looked as if he was going to run Charlie Crist's 2014 bid to be Florida's governor, but he dropped that hot potato.  Here's a longer profile of Hyers from the WaPo.  Noteworthy: in 2006, the year Bell ran against the last governor of Texas, Hyers was managing Kirsten Gillibrand's US Senate campaign.  He was the Midwest regional director for Obama in '08, and he's lost a few big races, going back to the 2004 Alaska Senate race of Gov.Tony Knowles, and more recently, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's failed re-election bid last year.

Things just got a lot more interesting.