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Democrat Mark Helms Leads Cortland County Sheriff’s Race With Absentees to Be Counted

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Cortland County voters went to the polls yesterday, there are some upsets in some local races and some races will come down to the absentee ballots.

In the hotly contested Cortland County Sheriffs race, it will come down to the absentee votes. Democrat Mark Helms is leading Republican Herb Barnhart and Conservative Rich Berry.

According to the Cortland County Board of Elections, Helms leads Barnhart by 277 votes. Helms received 3902 votes at the polls to Barnhart’s 3625 votes. Rich Berry picked up 458 votes.

There were over 673 absentee ballots issued that still need to be tallied. Typically the absentee ballots reflect the results at the polls.

At the Republican headquarters, Barnhart refused to concede the race noting the slim margin. He told supporters no matter the outcome he was proud of the effort and his campaign. Barnhart accused his opponent of some last minute negative campaigning.

Helms was cautiously optimistic about his lead and potential victory, he defended his campaign and the information that was presented as accurate and truthful.

There were three contested county legislative seats. In the 2nd legislative district incumbent Democrat, Amy Cobb handily beat independent challenger Derek Reynolds 100-57.

In the 11th district Republican newcomer, Chris Newell beat Democrat Chad Underwood 260-175 to replace Republican legislator Sue Briggs. In the 12th legislative district Republican incumbent, Joe Steinhoff survived a challenge from Conservative candidate Lee Miller 291-156.

In the City of Cortland 5th ward, Republican incumbent Alderman Cliff Dutcher lost to Democrat Bill Carpenter. Carpenter, a former Cortland police investigator, says he looks forward to working to combat the drug problems and a high number of vacant homes that plague the 5th ward.

In the 7th ward, incumbent Democratic alderman Linda Ferguson lost to Republican Adam MeGivern.

MeGivern says he wants to reach out to all residents in the ward and focus on the quality of life issues while working to hold the line on taxes.

In the Town of Dryden, Democrats beat out the Independent candidates. Jason Leifer was elected Town Supervisor with Deborah Cipola-Dennis and Linda Lavine winning two open town board seats.

Related: Preliminary Election Results

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