November 08. 2012 3:25PM

Cheshire County recount in sheriff's race

Union Leader Correspondent

Eli Rivera 

Just 27 votes shy of winning the Cheshire County race for sheriff, Republican candidate Earl D. Nelson of Marlborough has filed for a recount.

Nelson rand against Democrat Eli Rivera of Keene, who was declared the winner.

According to the New Hampshire Secretary of State's office, Nelson came up short with 18,839 votes against Rivera's 18,866 votes.

The Secretary of State's office said Thursday that a date for the recount has not been set yet.

In a Facebook post to supporters on Wednesday, Nelson said he had learned from the Secretary of State's office he was only 27 votes down from Rivera and would travel to Concord on Thursday to file for a recount.

"I am keeping a positive -- yet realistic -- attitude on this and I will keep you all posted as things progress. To all of you that have posted messages of thanks and encouragement for me, I am so very grateful. It has really made this situation so much easier for me to deal with. I put everything I had into this and I am still very hopeful for a successful conclusion -- however close it may be," Nelson said to supporters on Facebook. "Please remember -- there is still a distinct possibility that I could gain the votes needed to win the election. There were about 37,700 votes cast for Sheriff -- and I am only 27 votes short. With 23 towns in Cheshire County, all it would take is 1 miscounted vote in each town -- and a few with 2 miscounted votes -- to actual give me the winning total I need. That is not unrealistic at all."

Both men were vying to replace long-time Sheriff Richard Foote, who has served as sheriff for the past 14 years.

Rivera has been a Keene Police lieutenant since 1991. Nelson is a sergeant at the Cheshire County Sheriff's Office and a lieutenant at the New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Council.