(a) In any action by a candidate or former candidate for elective public office against a holder of elective public office or an opposing candidate for libel or slander that is alleged to have occurred during the course of an election campaign, the court shall order that the time to respond to the complaint is 20 days after the service of summons on the defendant. The order shall direct the clerk to endorse the summons to show that the time to respond has been shortened pursuant to this section. A copy of the affidavit and order shall be served with the summons.
(b) In any action described in subdivision (a), unless otherwise ordered by the court for good cause shown, the time allowed the defendant to respond to the complaint or amend the answer under Section 586 shall not exceed 10 days.
(c) The court shall give any action described in subdivision (a) precedence over all other civil actions, except actions to which special precedence is given by law, in the matter of the setting of the case of hearing or trial, and in hearing the case, to the end that all actions described in subdivision (a) shall be quickly heard and determined. Except for good cause shown, the court shall not grant a continuance in excess of 10 days without the consent of the adverse party.