Rep. Troy Balderson (R-Ohio) held onto his seat Tuesday, eking out a victory against Democrat Danny O’Connor in a rematch widely seen as a referendum on President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE.
Balderson won with about 51 percent of the vote to O’Connor’s 47 percent. ADVERTISEMENTThe incumbent first won the seat during an August special election to fill the seat vacated by former Rep. Pat TiberiPatrick (Pat) Joseph TiberiOhio New Members 2019 Many authors of GOP tax law will not be returning to Congress GOP Rep. Balderson holds onto seat in Ohio MORE (R), who retired from Congress to lead a business association.
But O’Connor’s surprisingly competitive bid at the time and elevated the special election to a nail-biter that tested predictions of a “blue wave” among Democrats energized by resistance to Trump.
The special election was too close to call for almost three weeks, with Trump-backed Balderson ultimately winning by less than 1 percentage point.
Ohio’s 12th Congressional District contains suburban, rural and urban areas, with strong support for Balderson in rural locations such as Delaware County and more O’Connor supporters in the urban areas.
Trump won the district by 11 points in 2016, but Democrats targeted the seat, hoping to capitalize on suburban voters frustrated with the president.
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Updated at 11:16 p.m.