Incumbent Circuit Court Judge Adam Peterson and Deputy District Attorney David Hoppe would head to a runoff in November if early returns held through the night, but Peterson was close to gaining an outright win.
In the first results released, Peterson had 49.5 percent of votes, while Hoppe had 37 percent and William Francis was a distant third, with just over 13 percent. If a candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, there would be no runoff in November.
Asked if he felt certain that he would win if he had to run in November, Peterson said, "I don't know if I would agree. I'm just thankful for the support of voters and happy to serve the county in a diligent fashion."
Peterson was a Jackson County deputy district attorney before being appointed to the bench in September by Gov. John Kitzhaber. He replaced Dan Harris, who retired.