Incumbent Cullman County Sheriff Tyler Roden earned the right to seek election to a fourth consecutive term on Tuesday by winning the Democratic Party's nomination over first-time challenger Mike Rainey.

Roden will next face Republican nominee Max Bartlett in the Nov. 7 general election. Bartlett was unopposed during Tuesday's Republican primary.

Roden received 5,058 votes, or 58.96 percent of the ballots cast, to Rainey's 3,520 votes, 41.04 percent, in the Democratic primary.

"I am so grateful and appreciative of all of those who supported me and helped during the campaign. One person can't do it alone and I certainly have had a lot of help over the last several months," Roden said.

Repeated attempts to reach Rainey, who did not make an appearance at the civic center, were unsuccessful.

Roden jumped to an early lead as election officials posted the results at the Cullman Civic Center.

With 10 of 53 boxes counted Roden held a 1,112 votes to 739 margin. At 35 boxes the margin was 1,304 votes (3,537 to 2,233) in favor of Roden and after 45 boxes Roden's lead had grown to 1,484 votes (4,223 to 2,739).

Rainey, a businessman and former law enforcement officer, made drug enforcement and crime reduction priorities in his campaign.

Roden, who campaigned primarily on his 12-year record as sheriff, complimented Rainey for running a clean race.

"Congratulations to my opponent who I think ran a good clean campaign and worked very hard," Rainey said. "I think he deserves a pat on the back. Mike did very well."

Looking ahead to November, Roden said he is looking forward to his next campaign.

"I'm glad to have this one behind me and I'm appreciative and humbled by the number of votes I received and I'm very much looking forward to the November election," Roden said.

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