HILLSBOROUGH — Two candidates appear headed into a runoff to be the next Orange County sheriff.
Charles Blackwood won 4,788 votes, closely followed by David Caldwell Jr. with 4,730 votes in Tuesdays Democratic primary.
If the top finisher does not get more than 40 percent of the votes, state law allows the second-place finisher to request a runoff.
The six Democratic candidates were seeking to replace Sheriff Lindy Pendergrass, who is retiring after serving 32 years and eight consecutive terms.
The remaining candidates from highest vote totals to lowest were Larry D. Faucette, Keith Webster, Andy Cagle and Buddy Parker. With no Republican candidates, the winner will be unopposed in November.
Blackwood, 54, retired in 2012 as major of operations with the Orange County Sheriff's Office after 32 years. He has since served on the Orange County Jury Commission. Elections reports show Blackwood raised $34,732 the most money for any candidate in this first three months of this years Orange County elections and spent $22,886.
Caldwell, 61, has been an officer with the Carrboro Police Department, U.S. Army Military Police Corps and the Orange County Sheriffs Office, retiring after more than 22 years. He raised $4,623 in the first three months of this year and spent $3,580, reports show.
(numbers for races not limited to Orange County are contest-wide totals)