PRINCETON — The 21 Republican absentee ballots floating around for Bureau County’s primary election could impact the outcome of Tuesday night’s unofficial outcome in the sheriff’s race.
Republican candidate Allan Beaber ended the night just ahead of opponent Jim Shipp by 18 votes.
With all 50 precincts counted, the final tallies showed Beaber with 1,317 votes; Shipp with 1,299 votes; Alex Arauza with 591 votes; and Bill Rosenow with 535 votes.
Beaber spent his night surrounded by family and friends at the Princeton Elks Club. During what seemed like a long wait for the final results to come in, Beaber admitted to being nervous about the results. His relief came shortly after seeing the final results tallies just shortly after 10 p.m.
“I never expected it to be a big blowout,” he said Wednesday morning. “I always thought it would be a close race with my opponents. They all had a lot to offer, as far as their qualifications for sheriff, and it was going to be close either way.”
With the thought of absentee ballots still lingering in the air, Beaber has optimistic thoughts on how they will weigh the outcome.
“It still depends on them, but a lot of times there’s not many that come in after an election is over,” he said.
All absentee ballots have to be postmarked the day before the election, according to Bureau County Clerk Kami Hieronymus. She said it will take about 10-14 days before official results are in and tallied.
If Beaber holds his lead, his next step in the race for sheriff entails taking a short break from campaigning, before gearing up again for the general election this November. Beaber will face Democratic candidate Jim Reed, who ran unopposed in the primary election and received 978 votes.
“We plan to get out to those towns we didn’t get to and revisit the towns we hit before. It’s going to be bigger and better,” Beaber said.
With this being his first time running for an elected position, Beaber admits the experience has revealed its good and bad sides.
“It was great because I met so many new people and made a lot of friends, and that’s what it’s all about. I really enjoyed the parades and people. They really opened up and welcomed us in,” he said. “The bad thing was waiting for each vote to come in on election night.”
While Shipp sits with just 18 votes behind Beaber, his thoughts Wednesday morning held traces of disappointment, but he’s looking forward to those last absentee ballot totals to be counted.
“I’m disappointed in the low voter turnout,” he said. “I’m not sure if the results would have been different with a higher turnout, but wish there would have been more voters.”
Shipp was thankful for a clean race with his fellow opponents and expressed gratitude for his friends and family, who stood behind him in the race.
“I enjoyed meeting the people, and I thought I had an adventage with my point of saving the taxpayers $100,000, but apparently that wasn’t a concern for some of the voters,” he said.
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