By Kevin M. Smith

Killeen Daily Herald

The count is up to five hopefuls saying they want to file to run for state Rep. Dianne Delisi's seat.

Ralph Sheffield said this week he intends to file for the March 4 primary election.

Since Delisi, R-Temple, announced she would not seek re-election after serving nine terms, five people have told the Killeen Daily Herald they intend to run.

Sheffield, 52, of Temple, is the latest. He has owned Las Casas restaurant in Temple since 1982 and has been in the Texas Restaurant Association since 1975, serving as president 2002-03.

"As president of the Texas Restaurant Association, I developed many valuable relationships with both lawmakers in Austin and other small-business owners from around the state," Sheffield said in a news release. "These valuable relationships will enable me to be an effective advocate for the hard-working families and small-business owners of House District 55."

Sheffield, a Republican, said he feels that he would be a good representative of Bell County.

"I'd like to see small-business owners more involved," Sheffield said.

He said his community involvement has given him experience to serve the residents of Central Texas. He's been active in charitable organizations including the March of Dimes, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society and United Way Campaign.

"I feel like I can be a better resource in Austin," Sheffield said.

He said Delisi choosing not to run again means her seat is anybody's at this point.

"It opens the playing field," Sheffield said. "It's going to be very narrow."

Samuel Murphey, a Democrat from Harker Heights; John Alaniz, a Republican from Temple; Michael V. Pearce, 37, a Republican from Harker Heights; and Martha Tyroch, 54, a Republican from Temple, also have said they intend to run for Delisi's soon-empty seat.

The first day to file for a place on the ballot is Dec. 3. The last day to file is Jan. 2, 2008. The primary election is March 4, with primary runoffs April 8 and general election day on Nov. 4, 2008.

Contact Kevin M. Smith at or call (254) 501-7550

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