Sheriff Bill Gore took a commanding lead in the race for sheriff on Tuesday, but his opponents have yet to concede.
Early numbers showed the incumbent -- Gore took over from Bill Kolender, who retired in the middle of his term -- with more than 60 percent of the vote.
Late in the evening, Gore said he was surprised at the numbers, because he knows how hard it is to win outright in a race like this one.
"I think any time you have three people in a race -- and to think you can get 50 percent in the primary is difficult," Gore said. "If the train continues and I do it, I think it's good for all law enforcement, it's good for the sheriff's department."
Gore's two challengers, sheriff's Lt. Jim Duffy and former undersheriff Jay LaSuer, said they believed it was far too early to concede.
Duffy is a 27-year veteran of the sheriff's department whose father, John Duffy, was the sheriff of San Diego County for 20 years. LaSuer also has a long history in law enforcement, with both the police department and the sheriff's department, and was also a California Assemblyman.
"Elections are a long, drawn-out process like campaigns are," LaSuer said Tuesday night. "If you get worried or upset, it would be very very premature."
"I'm looking at the fact that we'll have a runoff and proceed from that to a November election," Duffy said.
Gore would need 50 percent of the vote plus one to avoid a runoff.