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Race for Cumberland County Sheriff

CUMBERLAND COUNTY (WGME) -- One of the most hotly contested, and bitter, battles on this primary day involves the democratic nominee for sheriff in Cumberland County.

It's a race that's featured a third party group bankrolling negative ads against the incumbent.

There are no republican or independent challengers, its just incumbent Sheriff Kevin Joyce and challenger Michael Edes vying for the job.

Even though voters will still have to check the winner's box on the ballot come November, the race for Cumberland County Sheriff will essentially be decided Tuesday night.

Kevin Joyce has spent his entire 27 year career with the Cumberland County Sheriffs Office, and has actually been sheriff since 2010. He's a decorated officer, including the distinguished presidential valor award, but his tenure has also been marred by two incidents where inmates got out of their cells at the Cumberland County Jail, which he oversees.

Challenger Michael Edes has also spent decades in law enforcement, mostly with the Maine State Police, and served as the president of the Maine State Troopers Association. His campaign has come under fire recently after scathing ads funded by political PAC Citizens for a Safe Cumberland County aired. Edes has denied involvement with those ads.

There's also a contested race for sheriff in York County.

The three candidates are South Berwick Police Chief Dana Lajoie, York County Chief Deputy William King and Paul Main, who spent nearly two decades at the York County Sheriff's Office.

All three are democrats and there are no republican candidates in the primary.

That means the winner of Tuesday night's democratic primary will then run unopposed in November.