Words escaped an emotional Tim Jantz on Tuesday evening when an election official handed him results indicating he'd just won the Republican nomination in the race for Moffat County sheriff.
Tuesday's win doesn't wrap up the election for Jantz, a sergeant with the Moffat County Sheriff's Office and a self-described underdog heading into the primary election. But, it moves him a big step closer.
"Overwhelmed," Jantz said between congratulatory handshakes, hugs and kisses from supporters. "I'm overwhelmed by the generosity of the people here, and extremely honored. I'm always amazed at the people of Moffat County. I hope I don't ever lose that."
Two thousand one hundred forty-two people voted in the GOP sheriff's race, according to the Moffat County Clerk and Recorder's Office. Jantz received 1,256 votes, or 58 percent of the total. His opponent, Undersheriff Jerry W. Hoberg, received 886 votes, or 41 percent.
The vote totals are unofficial until election officials validate them. That process could begin as early as next Tuesday, Deputy Clerk and Recorder Lila Herod said. Certified results would then be registered with the Colorado Secretary of State's Office.
Heading into Tuesday, it was anyone's guess who would walk away with the nomination. Jantz said he thought his colleague at the sheriff's office had the advantage.
"We didn't know what would happen," Jantz said. "We didn't know until the end. I felt I was the underdog. We have been very humbled by the people that we've met."
Jantz will face Independent Vic Alton, who's also a sheriff's office veteran, in the November general election.
When reached at his home Tuesday evening, Hoberg -- who campaigned heavily on his seven years of experience serving as undersheriff -- was unfazed by the election night totals.
"The voters have spoken," he said. "I tried to run a good race. It all came down to what the voters want, and that's what they want."
Vote totals indicate that Jantz swept each of the five voting areas -- Hamilton, Dinosaur, Maybell, Craig and early/absentee ballots -- for a winning margin of 370 votes.
Fifty people or less voted in each Hamilton, Maybell and Dinosaur. Securing the nomination for Jantz were the voters in Craig and those who cast early/absentee ballots.
In those two voting areas, the GOP nominee received 202 and 119 more votes, respectively.
Jantz said he would resume his campaign soon. He said another tough test lies ahead in preparing for Alton in November. He'll begin courting voters, but not before fulfilling a promise to his wife.
"I owe her a vacation, and I'm going to give her one," Jantz said.