And then there were two.

Following the primary election Tuesday night, the field of five candidates for Clatsop County sheriff has been whittled down to the final two.

Sheriff Tom Bergin will face Oregon State Police Trooper Jim Pierce in a November runoff election.

Neither candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote, which is necessary to name an outright winner in a nonpartisan primary race that had a 50 percent turnout.

With the unofficial final votes tallied, Bergin received 4,536 votes (45 percent), while Pierce has received 2,772 votes (28 percent).

Former Deputy Bill Fuzia received 1,076 votes (11 percent), Senior Deputy Michael Nelson received 882 votes (9 percent) and Seaside Detective Steve Barnett received 699 votes (7 percent).

With a sizable number of candidates in the race, a runoff election was expected. Bergin said Tuesday night that he welcomed November’s election and said he’d prevail in the end.

“There’s been low turnout and a lot of people in the race,” Bergin said. “But we’ll get there.”

Bergin previously faced a runoff election during his first campaign in 2004, which he won after 11 months of campaigning. His opponent then was Astoria Police Chief Rob Deu Pree.

Bergin received one knock during the evening with the defeat of a bond measure that would have raised property taxes to pay for a $14 million remodel and expansion for the Clatsop County Jail by 100 beds.

The jail levy was a centerpiece topic in the sheriff’s race. While Bergin spent months promoting the levy, his challengers opposed it, with many saying the timing wasn’t right for higher taxes.

Watching the results from home, Pierce said he planned to regroup his campaign team in the coming weeks.

Reflecting on the election results, Pierce said he hadn’t run a strong campaign so far, adding that he would have to step up his outreach throughout the summer.

With only two candidates running as opposed to five, Pierce said he’ll now be able to distinguish himself from Bergin.

“Our focus will be on operations,” Pierce said.

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