Eddie Melton filed his candidacy Wednesday for the state Senate seat currently held by Earline Rogers.

Melton met with Rogers, who earlier this week announced she would not seek re-election in November, immediately after filing to discuss matters affecting Northwest Indiana, according to a news release.

Melton, a Merrillville Democrat, also attended the first meeting of the Senate Education and Career Development Committee.

“I believe that our educators deserve to be valued and supported," Melton said in a statement. "We must provide our teachers and schools with the resources needed to effectively foster a quality learning environment and rewarding classroom experience for our children."

Melton also is committed to expanding industries, creating a viable climate for entrepreneurs, and ensuring local residents have access to jobs and workforce development opportunities, the release said.

Melton, a member of the State Board of Education and leader of the Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males, in November announced his interest in replacing Rogers in Senate District 3, which is comprised of Gary, Lake Station, New Chicago, Hobart, Merrillville and Crown Point.

Rogers said earlier this week she will wait until the Feb. 5 filing deadline to decide whether to endorse a potential successor.

However, she spoke favorably of Melton, manager of governmental and community relations at NIPSCO.

"I think that he would make an excellent state senator," she said. "I would feel very comfortable with him in my seat."

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Sarah covers crime, federal courts and breaking news for The Times. She joined the paper in 2004 after graduating from Purdue University Calumet.