UPDATE (11:59 p.m.)—Harford County Sherriff Jesse Bane took a phone call around 11 p.m. Tuesday at Enotria in Forest Hill. He disappeared outside momentarily, and returned nodding his head to screams and cheers from the gathering inside.
"You'll have to look at me for four more years," Bane said.
Bane read the numbers off a sheet of paper: "45,164 for me, and 42,606 for the opponent."
Bane declared victory with 51 percent of the vote despite roughly 4,200 absentee and provisional ballots uncounted.
"I don't think that's going to be a problem," Bane said. "I think we can declare victory and move on."
At MaGerks in Bel Air, Jeffrey Gahler called Bane to concede but did not get an answer. The Republican candidate was disappointed in the results, but showed respect for his competitor.
"Certainly being a fellow law enforcement officer, I'm always willing to do anything for any other law enforcement officer," said Gahler, when asked if he will reach out to Bane.
Gahler added that he hopes the points he discussed in his campaign will be considered by Bane.
"I hope that the sheriff in his next term takes notes on the issues that we brought to light … and I wish him and the men and women of the sheriff's office the best of luck," Gahler said. "A lot of people turned out and voted for me. I think every vote for me shows that our message resounded with voters and there's work that needs to be done."
Bane was relieved that the race was finally over, and even more proud to represent a party that experienced so many defeats nationwide Tuesday night.
"This has been a long year for everybody. It couldn't have been sweeter," Bane said. "When you look at the fact that most of the Democrats have been taking a beating, and if you look at the electorate in Harford County, I think we pulled off a bit of a miracle here."
While Bane celebrated victory, Gahler was already contemplating another run in four years.
"Certainly it will be something I look at," Gahler said. "We already have plans to store all the materials, the signs, with that as a possibility. So we will move forward on that plan to stay actively involved in the Harford County community and the Republican party."
Precincts Reporting: 96.1 percent
|Jesse Bane (D)||45,164||51.38|
|Jeffrey Gahler (R)||42,606||48.47|