A week after his re-election campaign announcement, Texas House District 54 Rep. Scott Cosper, R-Killeen, will have a Republican challenger to his seat in the March primary.

Bradley Buckley, 50, a Killeen veterinarian and former board member for the Killeen Independent School District, will announce his campaign against Cosper at a campaign event Tuesday in Killeen, according to campaign manager Jarrod Weaver.

Cosper was not available for comment Monday.

Buckley, of Salado, stepped down from the Killeen ISD board of trustees in 2005 when he and his family moved from the Killeen area to Salado, according to Herald archives. Buckley was elected to the board in 2000.

Buckley has run the Killeen Veterinary Clinic at 1321 Pershing Drive since 1994 and is a 1985 graduate of Ellison High School.

According to his company website, Buckley graduated with a bachelor of science in veterinary medicine in 1989 and a doctorate of veterinary medicine from Texas A&M University in 1995.

On Sept. 18, Cosper announced his intent to run for re-election for the state seat in 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 period for the seat opens Nov. 11 and closes Dec. 11, with the primary election scheduled for March 6. Early voting for the election begins Feb. 23.

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 Republican primary opponent and Killeen optometrist Austin Ruiz by 40 votes in a May 27 runoff election. Cosper served as mayor of Killeen from 2014 to 2016.

kyleb@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

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