Incumbent Tom Dart wins Democratic primary for Cook County sheriff

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart took a commanding lead early in Tuesday's Democratic primary against challenger Chicago Police Sgt. Noland Rivera and never looked back.

With 95% of votes counted late Tuesday, Dart, who is seeking a fifth term in the November general election, received 276,275 votes or 86.6% to Rivera's 42,712 votes or 13.4%, unofficial tallies show.

"I'm honored that the voters of Cook County have continued to entrust me to face the challenges of today and tomorrow together with them," said Dart in a prepared statement. "I look forward to continuing our critical work combating violent crime, restoring public trust in government and standing up for crime victims."

Dart will face Libertarian candidate Brad Sandefur in the November general election.

In his concession statement, Rivera, a 28-year-veteran of the Chicago police force, thanked his supporters and staff and said he will continue to "stand firmly on the blue line."

"I joined this race to support my brothers and sisters who are on the job every day, in all conditions despite criticisms, long and crushing schedules and ceaseless danger to their own lives."

The Democratic primary was notable as much for its ever-shifting ballot as for such issues as crime, guns, electronic monitoring and the pending abolishment of cash bail. Challenges to the candidacies of Cook County sheriff's deputy Carmen Navarro Gercone and Dolton police officer LaTonya Ruffin resulted in appellate court rulings removing them from the ballot. The Supreme Court declined to hear their appeals.

Late Tuesday, Gercone's campaign issued a statement claiming that some polling places, including early voting sites, did not notify voters that a vote for her would not count.

"We received hundreds of calls from locations not posting a notification nor handing out a notice that their vote would not count. For this I am requesting to know how many people cast their vote for me," says Navarro in a prepared statement.

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