Today will decide if the three-candidate race for Oktibbeha County sheriff will see an outright winner in the Democratic Primary or go to a runoff in a couple of weeks as affidavit ballots remain to be counted on Wednesday.

Incumbent Sheriff Steve Gladney finished the night with 2,700 votes or 50.42%, while former Deputy John Rice finished with 2,469 or 46.11%.

Former SPD officer Brandon Gann rounded out the field with 182 votes or 3.40%.

Of the 121 affidavit ballots remaining to be counted, 92 were cast for the Democratic Primary, which will decide the outcome of the race.

For instance, if Rice nets all 92 affidavit ballots, it would lower Gladney’s percentage of the vote to 49%, forcing a runoff.

For Gladney to win the primary outright, he would need 39 of the affidavit ballots cast for him if all 92 votes are valid, which would meet the 50% plus one vote threshold.

While neither Rice nor Gann have held public office, a win for Gladney would secure a third term as sheriff.

If necessary, a runoff will be held on Aug. 27.

The deadline for affidavit voters to present an ID to validate their ballot is 5 p.m. on Aug. 13.

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