Michael Merrifield, a former member of the Manitou Springs City Council and four-term state representative for House District 18, announced his candidacy Sunday for the Colorado State Senate in District 11.

In a press release, Merrifield stated he will pick up where recalled Sen. John Morse left off.

Merrifield served in the Manitou Springs City Council from 1996 to 2000, co-authoring a bond initiative to purchase areas along Fountain Creek that became open space trails. He operated The Annex, an espresso bar in downtown Manitou Springs, and is a current board member of the Manitou Springs Business of Arts Center.

Former Colorado Springs Mayor Mary Lou Makepeace expressed her support for Merrifield's candidacy in the press release, praising his service to his constituents and their interests.

"He cares, he's smart and he brings a great skill set to the table: business, education and service in the Legislature."

Colorado State Senate District 11 encompasses Manitou Springs, the west side and downtown Colorado Springs covering State House Districts 17 and 18.

Merrifield was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives for District 18 in 2002, the first Democrat elected to the Legislature from El Paso County in more than 10 years.

He served as chairman of the House Education Committee and also served on the Transportation and Energy Committee and Local Government Committee.

"We need to make sure that citizens of Senate District 11 are fairly represented and focus on what is best for them," Merrifield said in the release. "I have a strong sense of community, know the district well and embrace the value of service."

Merrifield will host a holiday kick-off event at Ivywild, 1604 S. Cascade Ave., at 6 p.m. Dec. 8.