Republican Troy Balderson is projected to defeat Democrat Danny O’Connor to retain his seat as the U.S. Representative for Ohio District 12. With 68.95 percent of precincts reporting, Balderson has 52.29 percent of the votes with O’Connor having 46.34 percent.
Balderson narrowly defeated O’Connor in the Aug. 7 special election with 50.1 percent of the vote compared to 49.3 percent for O’Connor to serve as the representative until January, during which he was not officially declared the winner until more than two weeks after voting concluded.
“[Balderson] ran a great campaign, he stayed focused on the issues, and we’re very pleased he was able to win such a competitive race,” Nick Frankowski, president of Ohio State College Republicans, said. “Danny O’Connor was a very tough candidate, so we’re pleased Rep. Balderson was able to win the race.”
Although Balderson won the seat just two months ago, the race was expected to be close once again, with O’Connor narrowing the margin as Election Day drew closer. According to FiveThirtyEight, Balderson had a 65.3 percent chance of winning as of Election Day.
After losing to Balderson on Aug. 7, O’Connor was confident he could compete again with 11 weeks to prepare for the Nov. 6 election.
“I had hoped that the influx of the student population in this election would have made a bigger difference compared to the August special [election],” Madeline Morycz, vice president of College Democrats, said.
This congressional district has traditionally been red, without a Democrat holding the seat since 1983, so the close race has caused concern for Republicans leading up to the the midterm elections.