With 12 of 13 precincts reporting, Steve Sikes was the winner in a race for Liberty County Sheriff in Tuesday's runoff election. He received a total of 3,490 votes as of 8:15 p.m. His opponent, Warren Waye, received a total of 3,258 votes, a nail-biting 232-vote spread.
Stephen Mullice, Board of Elections Chairman, said precinct 13 had not yet reported in, but likely would not impact the outcome. However, he cautioned that absentee ballots still had to be counted.
Liberty County Supervisor of Elections Ella Golden stressed these results are considered unofficial and incomplete until certified by the state. Voting results are certified by "both county election superintendents and the Secretary of State, a process that will not be completed until all ballots are received, tabulated and the results reviewed for accuracy," according to the Georgia Secretary of State website.
Sikes and Waye faced each other in the runoff after neither candidate received 50 percent plus one of the final vote in the Nov. 2 special election. The special election was called to fill the unexpired term of the late Don Martin. Martin died from an infection after having been hospitalized for injuries he sustained in a vehicle accident.
Polly Martin, Don Martin's widow, is serving as interim sheriff. She was appointed in June by Liberty County Probate Judge Nancy K. Aspinwall to fill the position until a new sheriff could be elected.