LITTLE ROCK — A Saline County man announced Friday he will run for state land commissioner next year.

Alex Ray said he will run as a Republican for the position now held by Republican John Thurston, who is term-limited and has said he will run for secretary of state next year.

Republican Tommy Land of Heber Springs and Democrat Shaun Hubanks previously announced plans to run for land commissioner.

Ray is a business development leader at Johnson Controls in Little Rock. He said in a news release that in that role he works closely with local governments, colleges and universities and school districts across Arkansas, helping them find more efficient ways to serve their citizens and stakeholders.

He also said he plays a critical role in directing and supporting legislative and regulatory efforts in Arkansas’ advanced and renewable energy sectors through his involvement with the Arkansas Advanced Energy Association, as well as the Arkansas Chapter of the Association of Energy Engineers, where he currently serves as state president.

“As your land commissioner I will leverage the power of the office to help create more good-paying jobs for hard-working Arkansans,” Ray said. “With your support, we will develop new and efficient ways to drive more dollars back to counties to directly benefit our school districts, infrastructure projects and essential county services. I look forward to traveling to all 75 counties and getting to know folks from every corner of the Natural State.”

Ray said he has “spent years working hand-in-hand with leaders in county and municipal governments, higher education institutions and school districts across the state helping them create more effective ways to serve Arkansas taxpayers. I am excited and ready to bring my experience and expertise to the office of commissioner of state lands.”

A sixth-generation Arkansan, Ray was born and raised in Central Arkansas. He is married to Lindsey Ray.