Troy Balderson Barely Edges Out Danny O’Connor In Ohio Congressional Special Election

Troy Balderson Barely Edges Out Danny O’Connor In Ohio Congressional Special Election
Evie Fordham | Contributor

Republican Troy Balderson won Ohio’s 12th Congressional District special election Tuesday evening, barely defeating Democratic candidate Danny O’Connor by a little more than 1,700 votes, or 0.9 percent.

Balderson took 50.2 percent of the vote in the special election, which was triggered when Republican Rep. Pat Tiberi retired early. Balderson, who is also a candidate in the November general election, will serve through the end of Tiberi’s term in January, reported CNBC.

O’Connor received 49.3 percent of the vote, according to the New York Times. The Democrat was ahead when the early votes rolled in, but he and Balderson traded off being in the lead all night.

President Donald Trump endorsed Balderson via Twitter on July 21.

“Troy Balderson of Ohio is running for Congress against a Nancy Pelosi Liberal who is WEAK on Crime [and] Borders,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Troy is the total opposite, and loves our Military, Vets [and] 2nd Amendment. EARLY VOTING just started with Election Day on August 7th. Troy has my Full [and] Total Endorsement!”

Trump held a campaign rally with Balderson in Lewis Center, Ohio, Saturday. Vice President Mike Pence had also traveled to Ohio to campaign for Balderson on July 30.

Balderson, 56, who has been an Ohio state senator since 2011, beat 31-year-old Franklin County Recorder O’Connor.

O’Connor portrayed himself as a centrist to appeal to the voters in his district, which is on the outskirts of Columbus, Ohio, and is “wealthier and better-educated than the median congressional seat,” reported CNBC.

Republican Party-linked groups like the Congressional Leadership Fund spent $2.4 million to back Balderson, while about $280,000 in outside spending was used to back O’Connor, reported CNBC. (RELATED: Democratic Senate Candidate Vows To Fight Her State’s Rising Health Care Costs She Helped Create)

Democrats longed for an O’Connor victory as a sign that they will get the blue wave they have been working toward in November’s general elections. O’Connor would have been the first Democrat to represent the district since 1982.

Trump had won the district by nine percent in the 2016 presidential election, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Follow Evie on Twitter @eviefordham.

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