Three Republicans and a Democrat filed for the Texas House District 54 primary election by the filing deadline Monday, according to the Texas Secretary of State’s Office.

On the March 6 GOP primary ballot will be:

  • Incumbent Scott Cosper, of Killeen, a former Killeen mayor serving his first two-year term in Austin.
  • Brad Buckley, of Salado, a Killeen veterinarian and former Killeen Independent School District board member.
  • Larry Smith, a Killeen U.S. Army veteran.

The sole Democrat in the race is Kathy Richerson, of Killeen.

The 2018 primary will mark the second time in as many elections three Republicans have challenged for the GOP nomination for the state seat.

In 2016, Cosper narrowly edged out Killeen optometrist Austin Ruiz in a primary runoff by a total of 40 votes.

Smith was the third GOP challenger in the primary and missed the runoff with 21.4 percent of the vote.

Cosper went on to defeat Democrat Sandra Blankenship in the November 2016 election by eight points.

Early voting for the March primary begins Feb. 20.

There are 10 uncontested primary races: Bell County judge, Bell County clerk; all three county courts at law; the 169th District Court; district clerk; the Republican race for Precinct 4 commissioner; and two justice of the peace races.

In addition to the District 54 seat, other ballots in the March primary are:

U.S. House District 31: Republican incumbent John Carter; Republican Mike Sweeney; Democrat Christine Eady Mann; Democrat MJ Hegar; and Democrat Kent Lester.

Texas House District 55: Republican incumbent Hugh Shine; Republican CJ Grisham; and Republican Brandon Hall.

Bell County Judge: Republican David Blackburn

Bell County Clerk: Republican incumbent Shelley Coston.

Bell County Treasurer: Republicans Jeannette Compean and Gaylon Evans.

264th District Court Judge: Republicans Randy Dale, Steven Duskie, Paul LePak and Jeff Parker.

169th District Court Judge: Republican incumbent Gordon Adams.

County Court at Law No. 1: Republican incumbent Jeanne Parker.

County Court at Law No. 2: Republican incumbent John Mischtian.

County Court at Law No. 3: Republican incumbent Rebecca DePew.

District Clerk: Republican incumbent Joanna Staton.

Bell County Precinct 2 Commissioner: Republican incumbent Tim Brown, Republican Bobby Whitson; and Republican Brit Owen.

Bell County Precinct 4 Commissioner: Republican incumbent John Fisher; Democrat John Driver; and Democrat Louie Minor.

Justice of the Peace, Precinct 1: Republican incumbent Ted Duffield and Republican Lou Griffin.

Justice of the Peace, Precinct 2: Republicans Cliff Coleman and Richard Sapp.

Justice of the Peace, Precinct 3, Place 2: Republican incumbent G.W. Ivey.

Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4, Place 2: Republican incumbent Bill Cooke.

A combined 38 candidates emerged for the Republican and Democratic primaries. Of those 38 candidates, 31 are Republicans and seven are Democrats.

FME News Service staff writer Jacob Sanchez contributed to this report.

kyleb@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

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