The four-way race in the Republican primary for sheriff remained too close to call Tuesday night, with candidate Jeff Gahler leading Steven Bodway by just 66 votes with 96.1 percent of precincts reporting.
Gahler had 7.091 votes, or 34.7 percent of the vote, as of 11:40 p.m., while Bodway trailed with 7,025 votes, or 34.37 percent of the vote.
In addition to the remaining precincts that had not reporting, absentee and overseas ballots still remain. A first canvassing of absentee ballots is scheduled for Thursday at 10 a.m.
Bodway made up ground on Gahler as the night progressed, cutting lead that ran as high as nine percentage points to a razor-thin margin as most of the county’s other races were decided.
Gahler said he was content with his 66-vote lead as his team packed it in for the night just before midnight.
“We’ve had the lead all night on every return,” he said. “I’m encouraged by that, but it’s actually closer than I thought it would be.”
Bodway said he was preparing for a drawn-out process to decide the race’s winner, one that he said could take weeks.
“It’s a dead heat,” Bodway said. “To have a race this close is really quite amazing.”
The eventual winner will face incumbent Sheriff Jesse Bane in November’s general election.