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Ohio Special Election: Too Close To Call In 'Trump' District

COLUMBUS, OH — The special election in Ohio’s 12th District was too close to call Wednesday morning. Republican Troy Balderson held a narrow lead when the unofficial voting results came in, but less than 1 percentage point separated Balderson from Franklin County Recorder, and Democrat, Danny O’Connor.

Based off unofficial results from the State Secretary’s website, Balderson received 101,574 votes (50.15 percent), while O’Connor got 99,820 votes (49.29 percent) on Tuesday. With provisional ballots yet to be counted, and a possible recount on the horizon, the race remains a toss-up.

Tuesday’s race was the last special election before the November midterms and drew national attention to the district. Multiple outlets have suggested that Balderson’s struggles to secure the vacant seat could be a foreboding omen for Republicans nationally.

Ohio’s 12th district, which stretches and contours through towns and counties around Columbus, has traditionally been a Republican stronghold. The district has produced a Republican representative for three decades, including, at one-time, Governor John Kasich.

To boost Balderson, Republicans have trotted out the biggest names in the party. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence both stumped for Balderson in recent weeks and the party poured money into the suburban Columbus district. Kasich has also spoken on Balderson’s behalf prior to Tuesday’s election.

Trump tweeted congratulations to Balderson shortly after 11 p.m.

Still, O’Connor surged late in the polls and remained a viable threat to Republican control of the Ohio 12th. His performance on Tuesday night will be encouraging for Democrats running in less traditionally Republican districts.

Of note, whoever is eventually declared Tuesday’s winner will likely face their opponent again in a November rematch in the midterms. The unofficial results from Tuesday’s special election are below.

Where: Ohio’s 12th District includes Delaware, Licking and Morrow counties and touches Franklin, Marion, Muskingum and Richland counties

More on the Candidates:Franklin County Recorder Danny O’Connor is a moderate Democrat that has distanced himself from far-left politics, particularly on issues like universal healthcare (which he’s against). State Representative Troy Balderson has been walking a tight-rope between appealing to both Trump supporters and so-called “never Trumpers” in his own party. He has gotten endorsements from both the president and Governor John Kasich.

The special election is being held because Rep. Pat Tiberi stepped down to join a state business group.

Read this story for more info on the candidates and the national focus on Tuesday’s election.

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