It’s official. State Sen. Troy Balderson, R-Zanesville, will represent Ohio’s 12th Congressional District in Washington D.C. for the remainder of former Rep. Pat Tiberi’s, R-Genoa, vacated term ending Jan. 3, 2019.
The Franklin County Board of Elections completed its final canvass Friday afternoon before releasing the official results of the Aug. 7 special election, which had been a too-close-to-call race for the past two weeks.
The official results show Balderson received 104,328 of the 208,141 votes cast in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District. Democratic candidate and Franklin County Recorder Danny O’Connor, Columbus, received 102,648 of the total votes, while Green Party candidate Joe Manchik, Reynoldsburg, received 1,165 votes.
“I’m humbled by the support I’ve received from voters and look forward to representing Ohio’s 12th Congressional District in Congress,” Balderson said in a statement to the press. “Danny O’Connor ran a hard-fought race, but I look forward to earning the support of voters for a fourth time in November as I share my track record of getting things done for Ohioans, including balancing the budget, cutting taxes, and creating an environment for job creation.”
Balderson and his team have been declaring victory since the night of the Aug. 7 special election.
O’Connor was at The Ohio State University intern fair on Friday when the results of the special election were released. O’Connor held out on conceding the race to Balderson until the official results were finalized.
“I just called Troy Balderson to congratulate him on his victory in the 12th Congressional District special election,” O’Connor states in a press release. “I want to express my deepest thanks to my campaign staff, our volunteers, and to everyone who cast a vote in the special election, whether it was for me or not. I’m grateful to my grassroots supporters, because of you, we took no corporate PAC money and our campaign for new leadership grew into an unstoppable movement.”
Balderson won the counties of Delaware, Licking, Marion, Morrow, Muskingum and Richland. O’Connor won the portion of Franklin County that’s part of the 12th District, nearly doubling Balderson’s total number of votes in the county.
While one race may be over, the next is just beginning as all three candidates will continue to campaign throughout the coming months for the Nov. 6 general election, where a full term as the 12th Congressional District representative will be up for grabs.
In an interview last week, Balderson said his focus right now is the November general election with no time to move that focus to anything else.
“I have to win this race,” he said. “I won by just 1 percentage point. That tells everybody how important and how much work I have to put into this.”
According to O’Connor’s press release, “National Republicans and their allies threw more than $5 million” at him in the special election.
“We went door to door, we went house to house, we made our case for change, and the grassroots army we’ve created is not done yet,” he states in the press release. “In fact, we’re just getting started. We have 11 weeks to keep talking to voters, listening to their ideas, and to bring home a win for working families in central Ohio this November.”
Manchik said he thought that his chances would be better if he could get more media coverage. He said he couldn’t get any broadcast coverage because all the local stations were only covering Balderson and O’Connor.
“No one knew I was on the ballot,” he said. We need to “get the news out about the Green Party.”
Since the special election, Manchik has been interviewed by Fox News.
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.