Sherman attorney and current Republican Party Reginald “Reggie” Smith Jr. announced Wednesday that he is seeking his party's nomination for the house seat that will be left open in 2018 because current State Rep. Larry Phillips has decided not to run again.

“I think it is important to have widespread local support across all of District 62,” Smith said in a written statement, adding he was pleased to have the support of Phillips. “Representative Phillips is a good man who has served District 62 very well.”

The statement said Smith is no stranger to District 62 or to the conservative battlefield of fighting for less government, lower taxes, Texas jobs and a secure border. He is a sixth generation resident of Grayson County and comes from a pioneer family.

“My family came to Grayson County long ago in search of a better life and economic future and together, with friends and neighbors, helped build what we have today,” Smith said. “These are transformational times and I want to do my part to insure we keep the blessings that have been handed down to use.”

Smith, a resident of Van Alstyne, earned his law degree in 1994 from Texas College of Law in Houston and graduated from Austin College in 1991 with a bachelor's of science degree in Political Science. Upon graduation from law school, he returned home to practice law. Smith is licensed to practice in Texas, and admitted to practice in federal court including the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Texas and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

He is a two term chairman of the Grayson County Republican Party and currently the Northern Regional Director of the Texas Republican County Chairman's Association. He has also served on the ballot security team for the Texoma Patriots, providing election law advice to the local tea party organization in local elections.

Smith is not the only one who hopes to fill Phillips' shoes in state government. Former Sherman City Council member Kevin Couch recently resigned from the council and announced his intention to run for the state seat. Couch was a first-term city council member, a Denison native and the CEO of CBC Creative marketing agency Additionally, Van Alstyne electrical engineer Brent Lawson announced his campaign in July.

District 62 is comprised of Grayson, Fannin and Delta counties. The last day to file for the March 6, 2018 primary race is Dec. 11.