A surprisingly sharp open-seat battle between Republicans Mel Lindauer and Kevin Parker seems to have ended with Parker facing off in November against Democratic incumbent Rep. Don Barlow.
Parker got 28 percent to Lindauer's 21 percent in tonight's returns, a roughly 1,500-vote gap that will be hard for Lindauer to overcome. Barlow, the lone Democrat in the race, got 48 percent. Independent Marcos James Ruiz Jr., an ex-Marine and home health aide who saved for years to pay for the race, got less than 3 percent.
Interestingly, the Republican votes and Democratic votes are nearly equal in this race, suggesting that the next round is going to be pretty fierce as well.