Early high election return numbers gave way to an incumbent win for the office of Putnam County Sheriff Tuesday night.
In the race, it became obvious early on that Republican incumbent Mark Frisbie would win against Democratic candidate Tom Helmer.
After the first five precinct totals were read, Frisbie held a 222-vote lead over Helmer. And the numbers kept rising.
At the end of the night, Frisbie won the election with 5,405 votes against Helmer's 3,939 votes, a difference of 1,466 votes. That is with 42 percent of registered voters casting both their absentee and machine ballots.
Frisbie told the BannerGraphic Tuesday night that it felt good to be re-elected as sheriff. He said that he and his campaign team did not hit the streets as hard as they did four years ago, which made his campaign both easier and difficult at times.
After watching the precinct totals rise throughout the evening, Frisbie said he was not surprised by the totals at all. Frisbie won 25 of 29 precincts. Frisbie tied with Helmer in Cloverdale One precinct and lost in Franklin South, Monroe East and Marion North precincts.
Frisbie said he knew he was weak in the areas of Roachdale, Bainbridge and Fillmore, especially since Helmer is the Fillmore Town Marshal.
"That little section right there, I knew I had some problems with, and we ended up working hard in that area too," Frisbie said.
Helmer, on the other hand, was disappointed with the outcome of the election.
"I thought the people would pay attention to the issues. Apparently the issue of $2 million of their money is not an issue for them," Helmer said.
Helmer was also disappointed that voters did not get his campaign message.
After watching each precinct total go up on the board, Helmer said he was surprised by the numbers because he thought they would be a lot closer.
The precinct totals that truly surprised Helmer were Washington and Cloverdale Townships. In Cloverdale One precinct, Helmer tied with Frisbie with 182 votes each. He said he was shocked by the tie, but he did no need the ties, he needed bigger numbers.
Frisbie said that he appreciated the fact that Helmer decided to run against him.
"He was putting up a better fight this time," Frisbie said in reference to this year's campaign.
Both candidates were surrounded by a throng of supporters throughout the evening. Helmer said that he was proud of everybody who helped him through the campaign and election.
"I really appreciate everybody that helped me," Helmer said.