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Rep. Troy Balderson Claims Win Again In Ohio's 12th District

Republican Troy Balderson was re-elected to the Ohio 12th Congressional seat on Tuesday. [Adora Namigadde / WOSU]
Republican Troy Balderson was re-elected to the Ohio 12th Congressional seat on Tuesday.

Gabe Rosenberg & Adora Namigadde, WOSU

Rep. Troy Balderson has won re-election in Ohio's 12th Congressional District race beating Democrat Danny O'Connor for the second time. O'Connor called Balderson to concede on Tuesday night.

Just months after Republican Troy Balderson and Democrat Danny O'Connor met for a special election to fill the seat of former U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi, Balderson has earned his first full term in Congress. 

Balderson was the incumbent this time, having eeked out a win by less than 1 percent in the August contest. In fact, it took weeks for the final vote to be tallied. This time, Balderson won comfortably, 52 percent to 47 percent for O'Connor.  

He thanked his campaign team in a victory speech and focused on keeping the workforce strong.

"This economy is a plus for us. It’s good to keep people working. I’ve been trying to talk about this since I came into the state legislature," Balderson said.

He promised to build up job training.

"It’s jobs, jobs, jobs. That’s what it’s all about for me and always has been. We’re gonna work on workforce development initiatives to get people to work that need skilled labor."

The 12th District goes from Columbus into the suburbs and beyond, and it's been comfortably Republican for four decades. But Balderson's victory came up far short of Tiberi and President Trump's performances in the district, which is why Democrats targeted the 12th as a prime candidate for a "blue wave." O'Connor outraised Balderson by more than $1 million.

Balderson, who went to Washington in September, predicted that the district's underlying demographics would help him win again. O'Connor campaigned especially hard with college students, who weren't in session during the last election, but those efforts fell short.

Joe Manchik ran as the Green Party candidate.

The Republican Party will maintain control of a district that's been red for almost 40 years.