By Jade Ortego

Killeen Daily Herald

Monday was the last day to file to run for state races, and Texans from around the state stepped up to challenge Republican office-holders.

In the Central Texas area, several incumbents drew primary challengers, while two local state representatives were unopposed for re-election.

District 31 U.S. Rep. John Carter (R-Round Rock) will face a primary challenge from Raymond Yamka of Georgetown. Libertarian Bill Oliver of Temple also has filed to run for the congressional seat, which represents Bell, Coryell and Williamson counties.

U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Midland) of is facing a primary challenge for the District 11 seat in Congress from two other Republicans, Chris Younts and Al Cowen.

The primary winner will face Democrat James Quillian of Monahans and Libertarian James A. Powell in the November general election.

Lampasas County is the easternmost county in District 11.

"Over the past five years, I have been given the rare opportunity by the people of West and Central Texas to serve them in the U.S. House of Representatives.

I work very hard to be accessible and to represent their interests," Conaway wrote in a press release. "I am fighting an out-of-control government spending spree that is taking our country in the wrong direction and trying to bring some Texas common sense with me when I travel to Washington to vote."

Cowen, a businessman who lives in Sunrise Beach, is running because of what he considers to be the fiscal irresponsibility of the government as it stands.

District 22 Republican state Sen. Kip Averitt of Waco, whose district includes Coryell County, will run against fellow Republican Darren Yancy of Burleson in the March primary.

The winner will face off against Libertarians Tim Ballard of Cleburne and Ben Faulkner of Red Oak in the November election.

"Serving Senate District 22 is my highest honor," Averitt said in a press release. "Working together as friends and neighbors, we have successfully developed locally driven approaches to education, the environment, economic development and public health initiatives that have improved the quality of life throughout the district, and I look forward to continuing that work."

District 54 Republican state Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock of Killeen is running unopposed for re-election to his Texas House seat.

District 54 includes western Bell, Lampasas and Burnet counties.

"It is an honor to serve the citizens of my district. I am grateful for the continued support from my family and friends," Aycock said in a press release.

Republican state Rep. Ralph Sheffield of District 55 also has no opposition for re-election.

District 55 includes much of Bell County, from Harker Heights eastward.

The area needs a good conservative, Sheffield said.

"I think that's why no one decided to run against me. I think I represent the district pretty well," he said.

District 59 Republican State Rep. Sid Miller of Stephenville is facing a primary challenge from fellow Republican J.D. Sheffield.

District 59 includes Coryell County.

Contact Jade Ortego at or (254) 501-7553.

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