By Justin Cox

Killeen Daily Herald

Gov. Rick Perry announced Friday evening that a special election to fill the now vacant House District 55 seat will be held as expected on Nov. 4, the same date as the general election.

Democratic nominee Sam Murphey chose not to follow the example of Republican counterpart Ralph Sheffield, who announced his intent to file the day after Dianne White Delisi retired, for the right to potentially take office early and claim the two-month period before new inductees are sworn in Jan. 13.

The governor's official announcement didn't change Murphey's mind either.

"Twenty-two years in the Army taught me never to rush into battle without gathering intelligence and developing a smart plan," Murphey said in a statement issued Friday night. "Regardless of the outcome of the special election, I will remain focused on campaigning for the general election to serve our community in Austin next January for the full legislative term."

The sudden opening of the seat came following the departure of Delisi, a Temple Republican who retired from her post before finishing out the 18th and final year as a state representative to pursue an opportunity as a civilian.

Candidate filings for this special election must be completed no later than 5 p.m. on Aug. 29. Murphey, along with Libertarian nominee Chris Lane and any resident willing to run as an independent have until then to file for the special election.

The early voting period for the special election runs from Oct. 20-31.

According to the secretary of state's election code, the governor must announce a special election to cover the two-month term between the general election and Jan. 13, when freshmen representatives are sworn in.

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