Citrus County Property Appraiser Ron Schultz was leading challenger Oren "Woody" Woodward in early returns Tuesday.
Schultz, a Republican, said he was very proud.
"I spent the last three months talking about the accomplishments of the office and I believe the public responded to that kind of issue campaign," Schultz said as he awaited more returns in the county elections office.
Reached at his home, Woodward said: "I accept the will of the people. . . . As far as conceding that Mr. Schultz is a better man, I will never concede that."
The two candidates faced off in one of the most vicious races in Citrus County this year.
Woodward, a captain in the Citrus Sheriff's Office, said Schultz's methods often lead to unfair and inconsistent assessments.
Schultz defended his record in the office, to which he was first appointed in 1990 by outgoing Property Appraiser Charles Allen. He said the county has one of the fairest and most equitable tax rolls in the state, and he also said Woodward didn't have the qualifications for the job.
Woodward has never worked as an appraiser, but he said decades of experience in public service and management gave him excellent experience for the job.