One of the Lower Shore's most closely watched races will be decided by absentee ballots as Democrat Jim Mathias clings to a 200-vote lead over Republican Michael James.
The fierce rivals battled to claim the seat left vacant by Republican Lowell Stoltzfus, who retired after 18 years.
The two candidates have met before. Mathias, the former state delegate and Ocean City mayor, defeated James, a hotel proprietor, in 2006 in the state delegate race. This time around James took an aggressive approach and spent much of the campaign attacking Mathias' experience and record.
The deciding factor in who claims victory in the rematch: 4,600 absentee ballots from Worcester, Wicomico and Somerset Counties.
The result will be certified and final on Nov. 22.