In a three-way race that really came down to two active candidates, Jake Ellzey of Midlothian has won the Republican primary election for the Texas House of Representatives District 10 seat.
In the final unofficial totals that were released by the Ellis County Elections Office at about 11 p.m. Tuesday night, Ellzey finished with 14,464 total votes, or 65.45 percent, with Ryan Pitts of Waxahachie a distant second with 6,455 votes. A third candidate, Robert “Zack” Rader of Oak Leaf, did not campaign actively and had 1,180 votes.
Ellzey carried every precinct in the county in rolling to victory.
“Both Ryan and I saw an opportunity to serve our community eight months ago,” Ellzey said upon learning that he had won. “We both ran positive and honorable campaigns because that’s what this community deserves. In these times of coarseness in the political discourse, they deserve it too, and I think they responded well to that.”
Ellzey and Pitts were vying to fill the open District 10 seat that is being vacated by Republican John Wray, who announced last year that he will retire at the end of this term. Because no Democrats filed for the office, winning the GOP primary was tantamount to election.
“Jake is highly qualified and I’ve known him for several years,” Wray said. “I’m familiar with his capabilities and I think he’ll do a great job for House District 10 down in Austin.”
Ellzey, a 20-year Navy veteran and fighter pilot, previously ran for the Texas House in 2014. He also filed to run against former U.S. Rep. Joe Barton in the 2018 GOP primary election and eventually lost in a runoff against the current congressman, Ron Wright, after Barton retired.
At a candidate forum at the Midlothian Conference Center on Feb. 6, Ellzey pledged to fund education fully and ticked all the conservative boxes in his introduction, promising lower property taxes, promoting property rights, defeating high speed rail, protecting one’s right to defend oneself, and protecting the rights of the unborn to live.
Ellzey said one of his priorities is continuing the economic boom that Texas has been experiencing for more than two decades.
“Anybody who goes to Austin doesn’t create a job,” Ellzey told the audience. “It’s my job to go down to Austin to ensure you have a good regulatory climate, so you can build your jobs, build your businesses, be successful, hire more people, (and) bring more people in here ... Anybody in government who takes credit for building more jobs, they’re not telling the truth. You and I both know it.”
Pitts, a University of Texas law school graduate, promoted his long family ties to Ellis County and his activity in civic organizations and activities, and said he would go to Austin to fight for the interests of the county.
Pitts is the son of Jim Pitts, who represented Ellis County in the Texas House for 22 years (1993-2015). Ryan Pitts cited his father as a role model because of his hard work and determination, and also named President George W. Bush as a role model for “showing determination and grit and doing what he felt was right” after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.
Pitts said property taxes in Ellis County are rising to the point where people are being taxed out of their homes, and he promised to go to the Capitol to fight for the rights of property owners.