Richard Cutting --the virtual incumbent for Essex County Sheriff -- currently holds a commandding lead over independent challenger Micheal "Ike" Tyler.
With 33 of 42 districts reporting, Cutting has garnered a whopping 67 percent of the total vote and leads Tyler by nearly 3,000 votes.
Cutting is the protege of the recently deceased Sheriff Henrey Hommes and has run on a platform focused on his 30 years of experience and consistency of operations at the county department. He has been backed by county Republicans.
Tyler -- a retired corrections officer -- campaigned on a promise of cutting costs through increased programming that he argues would improve operational efficiency.