State Rep. John Schroder's resignation last week has prompted the first candidate to announce for his vacant House seat: Covington City Councilman Mark Wright.

Wright announced his candidacy Monday. A former chairman of the St. Tammany Republican Parish Executive Committee, he was elected to the Covington City Council in 2011, when he defeated incumbent Trey Blackall. He was re-elected without opposition in 2015 to the District C seat, which covers western Covington.

Schroder resigned from the District 77 seat last week to focus on his run for state treasurer in the Oct. 14 special election. That post was left vacant when John Kennedy was elected to the U.S. Senate last year. 

"Our district needs someone who can immediately jump into this role and fight for a better Louisiana," Wright, 46, said in a prepared statement. Wright said he'll focus on the state's "desperate" transportation needs, budget reform and economic development.

"We have incredible natural resources but regularly waste them through bad policy and poor government. It's clear the people want our state to live within its means. We can only do that through deep reform, and I'm ready to do it," he said.

Wright, who is married with five children, is vice president for the American Waterway Operators, where his primary responsibility is managing collaboration with the U.S. Coast Guard on the Mississippi River and Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. He is a member of the Lower Mississippi River Waterway Safety Advisory Committee.

Wright earned his bachelor of arts degree from Xavier University and his master of business administration degree from the University of Dallas. He is a doctoral candidate in business administration from the University of South Alabama. 

Follow Sara Pagones on Twitter, @spagonesadvocat.