Helms leading tight race for Cortland County sheriff

CORTLAND, N.Y. – Mark Helms, the democratic nominee for Cortland County sheriff, is leading a tightly contested race for the top law enforcement position in the county.

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Helms, the chief of police for the village of Homer and a former road patrol captain in the sheriff's department, received 3,902 votes for sheriff, according to preliminary results from the Cortland County Board of Elections Tuesday night.

Herb Barnhart, the Cortland County Undersheriff who ran as a Republican, has received 3,625 votes.

Rich Berry, who ran on the conservative line, received 458 votes.

There are more than 500 absentee vote ballots that still need to be counted, according to an official with the Cortland County Board of Elections, making Tuesday's results unofficial.

Barnhart says he will not concede in the race until all the absentee ballots are counted, the undersheriff told WXHC.

Helms had received the endorsement of the County Police Association of Cortland, which is the union that represents employees in the road patrol and criminal investigative divisions of the sheriff's department.

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