Like a mouse darting in and out of the way of a cat, Roger Deck needed only one surge to stay far enough ahead of his opponent Tuesday.
Trailing 78-76 through the reading of their first two precincts, Deck tallied 74 votes to Brad Buchanan's 34 and won three of the last four precincts to earn the Republican nod for Putnam County Council District 2 on Tuesday.
Deck, Coatesville, finished the evening with 359 votes while Buchanan, Greencastle, had 286.
Both were vying for the position currently occupied by Republican Richard Lyon, who opted not to run for re-election this year. Lyon has been on the County Council for eight years.
Buchanan positioned himself close to where votes were tallied on the second floor of the Putnam County Courthouse Tuesday, but conceded defeat after Deck tallied 99 votes in the Floyd East precinct to his 88, putting Deck out of reach.
The two received votes in seven of the 29 precincts in the county, five of which Deck won.
"Roger worked real hard," Buchanan said after he spoke with Deck and congratulated him. "I didn't have an opportunity to work it quite as hard as he did."
Buchanan received 34 votes from the Monroe West precinct and 44 from the Monroe East precinct to take his slim, two-vote lead, before Deck surged forward, tallying 74 votes from the Marion North precinct, or 68.5 percent of the precinct's votes. Buchanan, on the other hand, managed only 34 votes in the precinct, or 31.5 percent of the votes.
"I thought Brad did an excellent job," Deck said of his opponent.
The 74 votes from the Marion North precinct pushed Deck ahead by 38 votes and when the tallies from the Marion South precinct came in, Deck's lead moved forward.
Deck received 26 of the votes from the precinct (67 percent), while Buchanan managed only 13 (33 percent) to increase his lead to 51 votes.
Deck took a commanding lead in the race after receiving 63 votes from the Jefferson precinct (57.8 percent). Buchanan managed only 46 votes in the precinct (42.2 percent) as Deck increased his lead by 68 votes, 239-171.
But it was anybody's game with two precincts left and Buchanan won the Floyd West precinct with 27 votes (56.3 percent) while Deck managed just 21 votes (43.8 percent).
But Deck's 99 votes from the Floyd East precinct -- which was 53 percent of the vote -- sealed the deal.
"I'm very relieved," Deck said after realizing he won. "I want to thank anybody and everybody who had to do with my election 100 percent."
Following the completion of the numbers, a somber Buchanan said voter turnout played a key role in Deck's win.
"I think a lot of it had to do with low voter turnout," Buchanan said.
Of the seven precincts the two competed in, only Monroe West (27.01 percent, 111 voters) and Monroe East (20.06 percent, 136 voters) had a voter turnout percentage above 20.
Marion North had a turnout of 18.9 percent (155 voters) while Jefferson had a turnout of 18.4 percent (169 voters). Floyd West's total was at 14.7 percent (72 voters) while Marion South was at 12.9 percent (68 voters) and Floyd East was at 10.9 percent (244 voters).
Following his victory, Deck vowed to keep his promises to his constituents.
"I will follow my platform," Deck said.
In other County Council polling action Tuesday, Mitch Proctor, Russellville, totaled 328 votes for District 1 while Darrel Thomas, Greencastle, managed 809 votes. H. Keith Berry, Greencastle, also finished with 497 votes. All three Republicans are seeking re-election and were all running unopposed.