It appears Benton City’s mayor will face the city’s mayor pro tem in the November general election.
Incumbent Lloyd Carnahan had 142 votes, or 39 percent, on Tuesday night in the primary for the mayor post.
Mayor Pro Tem Linda Lehman was close on his heels with 140 votes, or about 38 percent.
The other two candidates were much farther behind. Steve Zetz had 70 votes, or 19 percent, and Cecelia Hickel drew 12 votes, or 3 percent.
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The top two vote-getters in the primary advance to the fall election. The primary results won’t be official until the election is certified on Aug. 18.
About 3,000 ballots countywide are left to be counted, the Benton County Auditor’s Office reported Tuesday.
The next ballot count update is expected Wednesday.
Carnahan is finishing his second term as Benton City’s mayor. He previously logged 24 years on the city council and served on the planning commission.
Lehman has served on the council since 2013 and was picked by her council colleagues to hold the mayor pro tem spot.
She’s also served on the city’s economic development council and planning commission.
Lehman has campaigned for fresh leadership and new ideas, while Carnahan touts his experience.
Benton City is home to about 3,200 people. It has a strong mayor form of government, which means the mayor is the city’s chief executive, overseeing daily operations.
The mayor term is four years and the position pays $800 a month.