Well, I think we can say that Tom Leppert is safely in the runoff. He already has 7,403 votes in early voting, or 29 percent of the total vote. Keep in mind that I had Leppert making the runoff in every single Unfair Park ranking of the candidates. Except, um, yesterday's. Must. Remember. Not. To. Think. Too. Much.
Anyhow, this is now a three-person race to join Leppert. Oakley finished a very strong second with more than 19 percent of the vote, but he also has been heard boasting about his early-voting effort. If he's already shot his wad then two candidates can catch him: Don Hill, with more than 14 percent of the vote, and Max Wells with 12.95 percent of the vote. The difference in early voting totals between Oakley and Hill is 1,394 votes.
All the other candidates are going to have to pull a rabbit out of the hat to get into the runoff. It's doubtful with 33 percent of the predicted vote already in that anyone else can make a serious run at the frontrunners. Gary Griffith, who stands at fifth place through early voting, only has 8.41 percent of the vote. Sam Coats, who I said yesterday would come in second, is currently in seventh. Still, there are 577 precincts left to report -- or about 50,000 votes, if county election official predictions are right. It's still anyone's game. OK. Probably not. --Matt Pulle