Ken Golden won the Democrat primary for Bryan County sheriff, according to unofficial election returns released Tuesday evening.
Golden and John Bates were in a primary runoff for the office and Golden won by 57.3 percent with 1,926 ballots cast for him. Bates received 1,438 votes.
Golden is currently the Bryan County undersheriff and Bates is an investigator with the sheriff’s office. Current Sheriff Bill Sturch, who has held the office since 1992, did not seek reelection.
The sheriff’s election will not be decided until November because John Wyatt, a Republican, is also seeking the office of sheriff.
Golden thanked his supporters.
“I feel very indebted to the voters and all of my supporters,” Golden said. “I feel they have gone out on a limb to help me get this far. I want them to know that while this is not over, I’m not going to let them down and we are going to make the changes we need to make.”
Bates also thanked his supporters.
“I would like to thank all my friends and family for your support,” Bates said. “I could not have gotten this far without help and encouragement. Congratulations to Ken Golden.”