WASHINGTON -- Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) said Sunday that he would announce his presidential run from Baltimore if he follows through with a White House bid.
"I wouldn't think of announcing any place else," he said during an interview on NBC's "Meet The Press."
O'Malley, who was the Baltimore mayor from 1999 to 2007, has faced criticisms since protests broke out last week in response to the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died in police custody last month. As mayor, O'Malley imposed a strict policing policy that led to a drop in violent crimes, but some say it also fueled distrust between the police and the community.
On Sunday, O'Malley called it "a heartbreaking setback" for Baltimore that protesters turned to violence and looting after Gray's death, despite most of the protests being peaceful. He said the situation in Baltimore should be "a wake-up call" for the country to address economic disparities and the effects of the drug war on cities.
“We haven’t had an agenda for American cities probably since at least Jimmy Carter,” he said. “We have left cities to fend for themselves.”
The former governor has said that he would announce a presidential run by the end of May. He hinted that the Baltimore crisis would play a big part in his campaign.
"I think it has to be central," O'Malley said.