BEAUFORT COUNTY -

The heated race for the next Beaufort County Sheriff ended with no clear winners for either political parties-- and there will most likely be a runoff come the summer.

No candidate received 40 percent of the votes, the percentage required to be the clear cut winner for their political party.

There were nine candidates running for Beaufort County Sheriff-- five Democrats and four Republicans.

The Democratic candidates are Al J Whitney, Val Scales, Russell Davenport, Gary W. Blount and Todd Alligood. The Democratic candidate who received the most votes was Davenport, followed by Whitney.

Davenport told us in a statement that he was appreciative of all the supporters who came out to vote for him, and that he looks forward to the chance of a runoff.

The Republican candidates are Harry Meredith, Rick Guthrie, Donald Dixon and Ernie Coleman. The republican candidate who received the most votes was Meredith, followed by Coleman.

Meredith spoke with us after the results.

"It was a hard fought primary," Meredith said. "And I'm happy to come out on top and I wish them the best."

Around 9 p.m. at the Board of Elections office in Washington, all the results were in and counted. The results came in about 30 minutes late because of a technical issue at another prescient, which slowed down the process.

In order for a runoff to take place, the candidates who came in second will have to fill out paperwork to start the process of the runoff election. In this specific case, if Whitney and Coleman decide to fill out that paperwork, there will be a runoff election come summer.

Whitney told NewsChannel 12 that he intends to fill out the required paperwork for a runoff to take place between him and Davenport.