Republican Troy Balderson Wins Ohio Special House Election

(Bloomberg) -- Republican Troy Balderson has eked out a victory over Democrat Danny O’Connor in an Ohio special election, retaining the GOP hold on the district. But the narrow margin of victory is a warning for the party as it struggles to retain control of the House in the November midterm elections.

Balderson was declared the winner by 1,680 votes out of more than 208,000 cast in the Aug. 7 special election after Franklin County, the most populous of the seven counties in the district, certified the official results at a meeting in Columbus Friday. The margin isn’t close enough to trigger an automatic recount under Ohio law.

Balderson was endorsed by President Donald Trump and Ohio Governor John Kasich, and he benefited from millions in out-of-state GOP dollars. Still, the victory was narrow in a district Republicans have dominated since 1982 and where Trump won by 11 percentage points in 2016.

The special election was held to fill the remainder of the term of former Republican Representative Pat Tiberi, who retired from the seat in January to lead the Ohio Business Roundtable. That means Balderson will face O’Connor again in November to see who will hold the seat in the next Congress.

The results were certified after the county election boards completed their official canvass, including counting outstanding absentee votes and provisional ballots cast by voters whose eligibility could not be confirmed on Election Day.

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