TEXARKANA, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – Miller County natives Stephen Ward and Wayne Easley are headed to a runoff in the race for Miller County Sheriff.

During the open primaries Tuesday, Deputy ward received 1,894 votes, Detective Easley received 1,620, and Chief Deputy Mark Lewis received 1,506.

Since neither candidate received most of the votes, Ward and Easley are set for a runoff in June.

On Wednesday, both candidates say they are confident about the race.

“I’ve served the citizens for over 14 years as a Miller County deputy, I believe I have what it takes to make Miller County better for our citizens and bring our citizens into the sheriff’s office and the sheriff’s office out to the citizens, so they can have ownership of the sheriff’s office,” Ward said.

“I’ve lived in Miller county my entire life, my family lives here, I have children here raising their families here. I want the citizens of Miller County to be safe as well as I want my family to be safe,” said Easley. “If elected sheriff, I’ll be a proactive sheriff, not a reactive sheriff.”

Both candidates ran on the Republican ticket, with no Democratic challengers. This means the winner of the runoff will be the next sheriff and take office in January 2023.

The runoff election is set for June 21.