Democrat Marcey Gregory and Republican rival Karl Peterjohn were both hoping for big wins Tuesday night.
In the end, though, Peterjohn took the lead 55% to Gregory's 45%.
"It's a wonderful night," Peterjohn said after receiving a phone call from Gregory congratulating him on his win. "The campaign is over and I'm here with a lot of my friends having a good time."
Peterjohn says he's anxious to start work as the county's new District 3 Commissioner in January.
In an unexpected upset, Peterjohn beat incumbent and current District 3 Commissioner Tom Winters in the August Primary Election. As head of the Kansas Taxpayer Network, Peterjohn calls himself a true fiscal conservative. He believes tax increases should only be decided by voters. Critics, including leaders in Wichita's aviation industry, have called him anti-tax to a fault.
Peterjohn also supports term limits for those in public office, and opposes issues concerning eminent domain.
Gregory is the Goddard City Mayor. She says she received a lot of support in the final days of her campaign. Although she was excited about the prospects of becoming the next District 3 Commissioner, she said leaving her post as Mayor would be bittersweet.
Because of her loss Tuesday night, Gregory says she not only gets to keep her job as Goddard Mayor but also run for a second term in the Spring.
"The aspect of being able to help people really appeals to me," Gregory said Tuesday. "I feel like I have found my niche in life."
Gregory says she also believes in keeping taxes low, but considers it important to balance the need for growth and expansion of the county's job and tax bases. She says she has high expectations for Peterjohn.
"I hope he will be a responsive commissioner across the board," Gregory said. "That's what we need."