BRIDGEPORT, Neb. — A deck of cards and a bit of luck helped decide who will likely be the next sheriff of Morrill County.
The nine of hearts Milo Cardenas drew Monday beat Travis Petersen’s six of spades, giving Cardenas the Republican nomination for sheriff. Since no Democrats ran for sheriff, Cardenas, the police chief in Bridgeport, is likely to win in November’s election.
“I knew it was going to be close, but I didn’t expect to be this close,” Cardenas said.
The two men agreed to cut a deck of cards after Monday’s re-count confirmed that both finished at the top of a four-man race with 379 votes after balloting ended last Tuesday. State law requires tied elections to be settled by a game of chance.
Cardenas said deciding the race with a card game seemed a little crazy but also seemed like the best option.
“I felt more comfortable with the deck of cards. That way you pick your own destiny,” Cardenas said.
Brandt shuffled the cards seven times and spread them out on a table before the candidates drew cards simultaneously.
“People wanted to revote and do a lot of things, but unfortunately, Nebraska law is very clear,” Morrill County Clerk Kathy Brandt said.
Brandt said none of the candidates who lost in the primary are allowed to run in the general election.
“For all those people that didn’t vote, they should realize that one vote does make a difference,” Brandt said.