Jere McElhaney was sweating it early Tuesday night.
The Republican incumbent, McElhaney, 46, was down by more than 1,000 votes against his opponent, Independent Marguerite Ermeling, 53.
But by 10:30 p.m., the tides began to turn and McElhaney emerged as the leader. He won the race by 1,104 votes, with a total of 9,012 votes, or 53 percent. Ermeling, a local veterinarian, received 7,908 votes, or 47 percent of the votes.
"I knew all along that it was going to be close," said McElhaney, who owns McElhaney Fence Builders. "For a long time, I thought we weren't going to win this thing."
He attributed his victory to volunteers, friends and family.
McElhaney ran his race based on the record of the Douglas County Commission. He said the present commissioners were a team and worked well together.
While she was dealt a loss, Ermeling said her campaign was worthwhile. Ermeling received more than 1,000 signatures to run as an independent on the ballot.
"We made a big point," she said. "The issue -- it's not going to go away. The commission is not going to be able to avoid or dismiss the constituency."
Here's how things broke down in other county races:
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- Democrat Jamie Shew won the race for county clerk with 22,867 votes, for 52 percent of votes cast. Republican Marni Penrod received 20,714 votes, or 48 percent of votes.
- Democrat Paula Gilchrist beat Republican Cindy Monshizadeh for county treasurer. Gilchrist received 24,790 votes, or 57 percent. Monshizadeh garnered 18,826 votes, or 43 percent.
- The post of Clinton Township treasurer went to independent Michael Fangman, who got 214 votes. With 59 percent of all votes cast, Fangman beat Republican Franklin Bidinger, who got 146 votes.
- Republican Chester Fitch won his bid for Grant Township trustee with 131 votes, or 62 percent. He beat Democrat Ron Schneider, who got 80 votes, or 38 percent.
- Republican Rex Hagerman beat Democrat Martin Thomas for Palmyra Township trustee. Hagerman received 1,435 votes, 52 percent of votes cast; Thomas garnered 1,291 votes, or 47 percent.
- Wakarusa Township treasurer went to Republican Norman Leary, who received 862 votes, or 71 percent. Democrat C.V. Williams received 359 votes, 29 percent.