District 55 House race

Bell County Sheriff Eddy Lange, center, scrolls through results while others, including Molly White, second from right, watch during an election results gathering at the Bell County Expo Center in Belton on Tuesday, March 4, 2014.

Michael Miller | FME News Service

BELTON — Molly White emerged the victor in the Texas House District 55 race Tuesday over incumbent Ralph Sheffield in the Republican Party primary.

With all 28 precincts reporting, the unofficial count had White defeating Sheffield by a 4,989 to 4,298 vote. She garnered 53.72 percent of the votes.

White, of Belton, has no Democratic Party challenger in November, and likely will take office in January.

“I’m so honored the voters put their trust in me to be their conservative voice in Austin and I will be that voice loud and clear,” White said after her win became evident.

Sheffield, a Temple businessman, thanked his supporters and said it had been an honor to serve District 55.

“I ran a positive campaign unlike my opponent. I’m proud of the success that I’ve had and the successes I’ve brought to Bell County,” he said.

When local conservative activist White filed to challenge incumbent Sheffield in November, she immediately moved to position herself as the true conservative. In return, Sheffield challenged White for being close to organizations looking to remove House Speaker Joe Straus from power. He also characterized groups who had endorsed her, such as Empower Texas and Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, as “far-right extremists” opposed to financing any part of government.

White proposed cutting state incentive programs, like the $95 million in tax offsets Texas uses to attract the film industry, and using that money to pay for infrastructure repair.

She also opposed Sheffield’s use of Rainy Day funds to pay for water development projects across the state.

Sheffield supported more financing for public education and to support business, which he claimed White and the groups who supported her didn’t want to spend money on.

White said she ran a clean campaign.

“We kept it clean and positive. We went door-to-door to talk to voters. That’s what it’s all about,” she said. “I look forward to the next few months of talking to the people in the community who have interests in what’s going on.”

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