A second Republican candidate has joined the race to fill a soon-to-be vacant seat as the Ellis County representative in the Texas House.

Ryan Pitts, a fourth generation Ellis County resident and son of longtime State Rep. Jim Pitts, announced his candidacy for the Texas House District 10 on Wednesday. He joins Sam Bryant, a Waxahachie born, Italy raised U.S. Army veteran, in the race to fill a seat that will be vacated by Rep. John Wray.

Wray announced that he would not seek reelection this past week and his term is set to expire Jan. 1, 2021. He has served District 10, which includes all of Ellis County and a portion of Henderson County, since 2015 after receiving 70 percent or more of votes tallied in each of his elections in 2014, '16 and '18.

In his campaign announcement, Pitts stated his desire to run for a seat in the Texas House began while watching his father serve District 10 from 1993-2015.

"My childhood was steeped in the values of our community and a focus on our families," Pitts stated. "I'm running to ensure sure our voice is heard in Austin, and that our state government is focused on making our lives better."

"As a new father, nothing is more important to me than the future that we're creating for our next generation," he added. "As our state representative, I'll be a voice for our families – working for stronger schools, safer communities, a more robust infrastructure and a business environment that nurtures growth and opportunity. These are the issues that truly impact our quality of life and our future."

According to the announcement, Pitts currently serves as the executive vice president of the family-owned Ellis County Title Company, as well as the vice president of the Waxahachie Foundation and on the Waxahachie ISD Community Education Advisory Board. He also currently holds positions with the Texas Land Title Association legislative committee and the Waxahachie Family YMCA Board of Management and was previously selected to the list of Ellis County's "40 under 40" Business Professionals.

Pitts holds an undergraduate degree from Southern Methodist University and a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law.

He and his wife Faith Anne are the proud parents of an infant daughter, Evelyn.

As for Pitts' current opponent, Bryant, 37, was born in Waxahachie and grew up in Italy. After following in his father's footsteps and joining the U.S. Army, Bryant was medically retired from the Army in 2013 following a 14-year career, which included two combat deployments to Iraq and one to Afghanistan.

Bryant currently serves as the male representative on the State Republican Executive Committee for Senate District 22, which includes Ellis, Bosque, Falls, Hill, Hood, McLennan, Navarro and Somervell Counties, as well as a portion of Tarrant County.