Texas House District 54 Rep. Scott Cosper, R-Killeen, announced his intent to run for re-election for the state seat, according to a news release.
Cosper, a former Killeen mayor and councilman, said he was ready to step back into his post after an acrimonious regular and special session of the Texas Legislature this summer that sparred over sanctuary cities, a “bathroom bill” to prevent transgender access to bathrooms of their choice and property tax reform.
“I wasn’t elected to just mark time,” Cosper said in the Saturday news release. “This job is about rolling your sleeves up and getting results for our families, veterans, students and teachers. I am proud of what we accomplished and look forward to continuing this important work for our area.”
The filing deadline for the seat is Dec. 11. As a state legislator, Cosper is compensated $7,200 per annum, according to the Texas Ethics Commission.
On Aug. 24, a federal judge panel in San Antonio ruled Cosper’s district and that of Texas House District 55 Rep. Hugh Shine, R-Temple, were among nine House districts with boundaries that are intentionally discriminatory against minority voters.
The panel ordered the districts to be redrawn prior to the November 2018 general election.
On Tuesday, following a request from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed that redrawing order until the court hears the case in full.
“It is the honor of a lifetime to fight for the families of the 54th district and address the challenges we face, and I plan to keep up the fight for our families, schools, taxpayers, and military community no matter how the district’s boundaries may change,” Cosper said Aug. 25.
Cosper was a member of the Texas House’s Appropriations Committee during the 85th Legislature and helped secure expanded funding for cities disproportionately impacted by the state-mandated disabled veteran property tax exemption.
Killeen alone will lose about $4.5 million in tax revenues in fiscal year 2018 due to the exemptions.
On March 24, Cosper was ranked No. 1 in the first-term Texas legislators power rankings by Capitol Inside, an online publication reporting on the Texas Legislature in Austin.
Cosper was elected to the District 54 seat in November 2016 as a first-time legislator after beating out Democratic challenger Sandra Blankenship by 5,100 votes — or a roughly eight-point margin.
Cosper narrowly defeated Republic primary challenger and Killeen optometrist Austin Ruiz by 40 votes in a May 27 runoff election. He served as mayor of Killeen from 2014 to 2016.