Democrat Jeff Scroggin congratulated Doug Breidenthal for winning the Jackson County commissioner race after results posted Wednesday showed the Republican candidate expanding his lead to 1,915 votes.
"I just called Doug and left a message, and conceded the race," Scroggin said Wednesday afternoon.
The latest results from Jackson County Elections posted at noon Wednesday show Breidenthal with 40,772 votes to Scroggin's 38,857, a 1,915-vote difference, or 48 percent to 45.7 percent. In the first round of voting results Tuesday night, the difference between the two candidates was about 1,200 votes.
Troy Hackett, an Independent candidate who was largely absent during the campaign, received 5,217 votes, or 5.8 percent.
A large number of voters — 8,484 — didn't select any candidate in the commissioner race.
Late Tuesday, Breidenthal was not ready to claim victory and Scroggin not ready to concede after the first two rounds of election results showed the race still fairly close. By Wednesday it became apparent that Scroggin would not close the gap.
"Jeff was a good opponent, and I respect Jeff," Breidenthal said. "He ran a good campaign."
Breidenthal said he started attending county meetings Wednesday to prepare himself for the job, which starts in January.
He's also making preparations to leave his post as operations chief at Kingsley Fire Department.
Breidenthal said he didn't want to speculate on the reason for the close race, or the large number of voters who didn't select any candidate.
"I think the people of Jackson County spoke," he said. "The results are out there."
Commissioner Don Skundrick, a Republican, endorsed Scroggin during the campaign, and commissioners C.W. Smith and John Rachor, also Republicans, didn't endorse either candidate.
Breidenthal said he received congratulations from both Rachor and Skundrick Wednesday.
"I think we are all professional, and we're in it to do the right thing for the county," he said.
Scroggin said he wanted to thank his opponent for a hard-fought and energetic campaign, as well as to offer his support in any way possible as Breidenthal transitions into his new position.
Scroggin, who was busy picking up lawn signs Wednesday, will return to his job as state Sen. Alan Bates' chief of staff.
He said he was particularly thankful for the volunteers who helped with his campaign.
Reach Mail Tribune reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476, or email email@example.com.