Republican Ohio State Sen. Troy Balderson pulled off a slim victory over a local township trustee in the state’s 12th Congressional District GOP primary Tuesday evening.
Balderson — who was backed by GOP establishment groups and the former lawmaker who held the seat up until January — finished out the race with 29 percent of the vote, compared to Liberty Township Trustee Melanie Leneghan’s 28 percent. The race between them unfolded as a traditional Republican proxy war, with Leneghan gaining support from conservative groups like the House Freedom Fund.
Balderson will face Democrat Danny O’Connor, the Franklin County Recorder, in an August special election for former Rep. Pat Tiberi’s (R-OH) seat. O’Connor won 41 percent of the vote in the seven-way Democratic primary on Tuesday.
Voters in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District voted for candidates to face off in two elections later this year — the Aug. 7 special election for the remainder of Tiberi’s term and the general election in November. Voters chose Balderson and O’Connor for both races.