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Recap of 12th Congressional Special Election

By Belinda Jones - Legislative Counsel - Capitol Consulting Group

State Senator Troy Balderson (R-Zanesville) narrowly won yesterday’s 12th Congressional District special election, according to unofficial results. His challenger, Franklin County Recorder Danny O’Connor has not conceded yet due to the fact that more than 8,000 ballots still need to be counted. Balderson currently leads by less than 1% (1,754 votes), though it is unlikely that uncounted ballots will allow O’Connor to close the lead. It is possible that uncounted ballots could push the race into recount territory (less than .5% margin), however it is doubtful that a recount would change the outcome. Barring something exceptional, Balderson will be declared the winner—




O’Connor (D)



Balderson (R)



Balderson Margin



*as of 8:30am on August 8th

Both sides were quick to claim a victory in this race. Republicans celebrated the fact that despite the ‘blue wave’ they held on to a seat that has been in GOP control for more than three decades while Democrats pointed out the Trump carried the 12th district in 2016 by 11% and Balderson garnered less than 1%. Below please find a few articles with some good analysis of the results. 

Both Balderson and O’Connor will face off again in November for a full term. Generally, boards of election have 10 days to count all ballots and certify the results.  

Let OABA or Belinda Jones know if you have any questions or would like more detail. 

Related News: 

Columbus Dispatch: 12th Congressional District: Troy Balderson Declares Victory, but Ballots in Tight Race Remain to be Tallied

FiveThirtyEight Politics: What Went Down in the Ohio 12th Special Election

Politico: Top Takeaways From a Pair of Election-Night Squeakers

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