Ann Montgomery announced her candidacy for Ellis County and District Attorney on Thursday evening.

The decision came after the current district attorney, Patrick Wilson, announced earlier last month that he would not seek re-election for the office. Wilson previously stated that he's retiring after serving more than 25 years in the criminal justice field to spend more time with his family and friends.

Wilson was first elected in 2012 but was initially appointed by the Ellis County Commissioners Court to fill an expiring term on Jan. 1, 2011. He will have served 10 years as the district and county attorney, or roughly two and a half terms, when his current term expires on Dec. 31, 2020.

"I am incredibly proud to have dedicated a career to seeking justice for others," Wilson stated in his announcement. "But life is too short to spend it all in the darkness."

Montgomery, having worked alongside Wilson since he was elected, announced her intentions to fill the open seat via Facebook. She has served as an assistant county attorney for more than 16 years and spent the last year as the first assistant.

“I have the integrity and experience necessary to lead the second largest county office," Montgomery said in the social media announcement.

As an assistant county attorney, Montgomery has assisted Wilson and the office in prosecuting individuals who have been charged with a multitude of crimes. She has also handled media relations for the office and has served as the point of contact between local news outlets and the district attorney.

Montgomery stated that family, friends and colleagues have been encouraging and supportive of her decision. She also noted the decision to run comes after "much thought and prayer."

“I will be tough on crime to ensure the safety and welfare of the citizens of Ellis County,” she stated. “I will see that justice is done.”

Montgomery stated that her campaign Facebook page and website would be released soon. She is the first candidate to officially announce plans to replace Wilson.