Balderson wins tight GOP race for Tiberi seat in Ohio

Ohio Republican state Sen. Troy Balderson won Tuesday’s primary for the 12th Congressional District’s special election, edging out the House Freedom Caucus-backed Melanie Leneghan.

Balderson defeated Leneghan by 653 votes, The New York Times reported, sending him to the August special election for the seat vacated by former Rep. Pat TiberiPatrick (Pat) Joseph TiberiOhio New Members 2019 Many authors of GOP tax law will not be returning to Congress GOP Rep. Balderson holds onto seat in Ohio MORE (R-Ohio).

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“He’s excited that his message of conservative grit resonated with voters and he’s ready to show everyone else out there what conservative grit means, and how he’s ready to take the fight to Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names Black lawmakers unveil bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Pelosi: Georgia primary ‘disgrace’ could preview an election debacle in November MORE and our liberal opponent,” said Brad Shattuck, a spokesman for Balderson, as reported by The Columbus Dispatch.

Balderson will face off against Democrat Danny O’Connor in the special election for the seat once held by Tiberi, who retired from Congress in January.

House Freedom Caucus members had warned Republican leadership to remain on the sidelines of the primary race, in which Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who helped found the caucus, backed Leneghan, a township trustee.

Tiberi supported Balderson’s bid for his old seat, providing the state senator with money from his own campaign account.

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