In early election returns from Jackson County, Barack Obama leads Hillary Clinton, having garnered 13,677 votes to her 9,088.

In early election returns from Jackson County, Barack Obama leads Hillary Clinton, having garnered 13,677 votes to her 9,088.

On the rest of the Democratic ballot, Jim Olney leads in the race for Jackson County commissioner, position 2, with 8,637 votes, compared with 5,614 for John Morrison and 2,786 for Scott Keith. The winner will face off with Republican incumbent C.W. Smith, who has wrapped up 11,722 votes to defeat Morris Saltikoff, who got 2,563 votes.

Senator Gordon Smith also sports a strong lead over a little-known opponent.

Jeff Merkley, with 9,200 votes, leads in the Democratic race to face Smith in the fall.

With 17,068 votes, Lisa C. Greif leads the race for Jackson County Circuit Court judge, position 8, outpacing Joe Charter, Tom Dzieman and Paul Henderson.

Doug McGeary has netted 14,403 votes in the race for Jackson County Circuit Court judge, position 6, putting him ahead of Tim Barnack's 12,481 votes and John Norton's 6,628.

Assessor Dan Ross has 19,855, or nearly 58.5 percent of the vote counted so far, putting him ahead of challenger Roy Wright, who has 14,040, or 41.34 percent.

In the clerk's race, Chris Walker has 14,855 votes, or 44.33 percent of the current total. Closely grouped for the second slot are Cheryl Avgeris with 5,830 votes, Colleen Roberts with 5,639, and Karen Spoonts with 5,388.

Kerry K. Bradshaw leads Darrell Huck, 19,472 votes to 10,878, in the race for county surveyor.

— Anita Burke