Because there were seven candidates vying for the ticket and no one candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates will face off in a primary runoff election on July 15 to the choose the Republican candidate.
Before any absentee or provisional ballots were counted, there were 12,415 votes tallied in the sheriff’s race.
Underwood led the votes on Tuesday night, with 4,339 or 34.95 percent of the votes to Poe’s 4,258 or 34.30 percent of the total votes.
Underwood said he was grateful to all his supporters and credited God for his success in the primary election.
“I’m very humbled by the votes I received tonight by the citizens of Walker County,” Underwood said. “I appreciate my supporters and all the hard work they have done to get me where we are today.”
Poe thanked his wife, Patty, and his supporters, as well as commending the other candidates on running a clean race.
He said he hoped to be able to meet and gain the support of some of those who voted for the other candidates in this election.
“I’ve enjoyed the campaign trail so far, and I’m looking forward to meeting more people as we prepare for this runoff,” Poe said.
Steve Miller was third in the voting totals with 1,822 votes, or 14.68 percent. He congratulated both Underwood and Poe and said he would support whoever won and encouraged the citizens of Walker County to do the same, for the good of the county.
Miller said he was proud of the campaign he had run and thanked all of his supporters in the race.
Adam Hadder garnered 1,037 votes, Ronald Raines received 715 votes, Allen Estell received 134 and Larry Odom received 110.
No provisional or absentee votes were counted as of press time and the vote totals are unofficial until they are certified.
The winner of the July 15 runoff election will face Democrat Mike Cole in the general election on Nov. 4.