BALTIMORE (WJZ) — J.D. Merrill, the son-in-law of former Governor Martin O’Malley, will officially run for State Senator in Maryland’s 41st District.

The 41st District includes parts of Baltimore County and Baltimore City.

Merrill made the announcement via Twitter on Monday saying “We need leadership that is focused on improving our schools.”

Over the last year, Merill was the special assistant to the Chief of Staff at Baltimore City Public Schools. Before that he was the executive assistant to the Chief of Staff. Merrill also led special projects for the administration at Baltimore City Public Schools.

On his campaign website, Merill says he led a $2.2 million campaign to build a new library and learning center while he was a teacher at Baltimore City College.

One of Merill’s focus will be on education. After Baltimore City Schools were recently forced to close their doors due to bad heating, Merill said “our inability to provide basic resources to our students is the direct result of decisions made by state gov. And those decisions were the wrong ones.”

Merrill has also called on the state to end partial funding for capital projects. He says Baltimore County gets $148 million per year from state and local governments for capital projects. Merrill says Baltimore City gets $54 million.

Former Governor Martin O’Malley’s daughter, Grace, married Merrill in the summer of 2016.

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