SOQUEL, Calif. -

Retiring Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak's hand-picked candidate drew a heavy lead in the sheriff's race.

Jim Hart, currently Wowak's number 2, was pulling 65 percent of the vote as of nearly 1 a.m. Wednesday.

It was a race that saw elections totals continue to change throughout the evening as results trickled in, with opponent and former Sheriff's lieutenant Roger Wildey eventually grabbing about 22 percent of the vote. Their former colleague Bob Pursley held strong in third place with 12 percent.