This story was updated Tuesday morning with new results.

Sam Cogen, a former high-ranking deputy in the Baltimore City Sheriff’s Office, widened his lead Tuesday in the race to unseat three-decade incumbent John W. Anderson.

Cogen had 36,097 votes, or 51.8% of the votes, in the Democratic primary as of Tuesday morning. Anderson had 33,624 votes, or 48.2%.

While the two candidates raked in nearly the same number of votes during early voting and on primary election day, Cogen has secured significantly more support from those who sent mail-in ballots. Election officials continue to tally straggler mail-in ballots.

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No Republican has entered the sheriff’s race, so the Democratic primary will determine the next sheriff.

Baltimore City Sheriff John W. Anderson is photographed while being interviewed by a Baltimore Banner reporter on Thursday, May 26. (Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Banner)

Anderson has not replied to requests for comment. Cogen said Monday that he would be watching the results throughout the day and did not have immediate plans to declare victory.

Anderson, 75, who was initially appointed by then-Gov. William Donald Schaefer, was gunning for his ninth term as sheriff. He has been reluctant to embrace technology and does not have a computer in his office.

Anderson drew the ire of Baltimore City Council members this year for the way in which his deputies handle evictions. A 2001 memo from the Maryland attorney general’s office requested deputies post eviction notices on the door of the affected apartment. Tenant advocates and council members said that deputies often post such notices on the main door of the apartment complex or a mailroom, where they are often removed before tenants see them. The council docked the sheriff’s budget by $500,000 due to these concerns.

Cogen, 48, joined the sheriff’s office in 1997 and quickly rose through the ranks. He served as president of the sheriff’s deputies’ union, represented Baltimore in the Maryland Association of Sheriffs and was his agency’s representative to the city’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.

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Cogen campaigned on a platform of expanding the use of technology in the sheriff’s office, which he says will make the office more efficient and better equipped to serve bench warrants and domestic violence peace orders. He vowed to “humanize” the evictions process to help renters find other housing options.

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Julie Scharper is an enterprise reporter for The Baltimore Banner. Her work ranges from investigations into allegations of sexual harassment and abuse to light-hearted features. Baltimore Magazine awarded Scharper a Best in Baltimore in 2023 for her series exposing a toxic work culture within the Maryland Park Service.

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