On the first day of early voting ahead of the March 3 primary election, Gov. Greg Abbott made an appearance at the Rogers Hotel in downtown Waxahachie on behalf of Texas House District 10 candidate Jake Ellzey, Tuesday.

The governor, who has spent the last seven months endorsing Republican candidates, urged a room full of supporters to avoid opponents who are trying to “turn Texas blue,” and instead, “elect people like Jake Ellzey.”

“We’re proud of what he did for the United States of America and we’re proud of what he is going to do for the great state of Texas,” Abbott announced.

Ellzey, 50, is a retired Navy commander and combat pilot. He was unsuccessful when he first ran to represent District 10 in 2014. The small business owner most recently ran in the 2018 Republican Primary for the District 6 congressional seat, won by Ron Wright.

Ellzey faces Waxahachie-native Ryan Pitts, 33, who is also vying to replace Rep. John Wray who announced last summer he would not be seeking reelection when his term expires on Jan. 1 next year.

Pitts, an executive vice president of the family-owned Ellis County Title Company, is the son of former District 10 Rep. Jim Pitts.

The two candidates squared off in a public forum on Feb. 6 at the Waxahachie High School to discuss issues affecting public education.