MOUNT GILEAD — Republican Troy Balderson won Morrow County easily in the Aug. 7 special election, but it was much closer overall.
Balderson prevailed in his battle with Democrat Danny O’Connor for the 12th Congressional District seat with a 1,754-vote margin of victory. The final overall tally was 101,574 to 99,820, according to the Ohio Secrtary of State web site.
Here Balderson captured 5,145 votes to O’Connor’s 2,144; Green Party candidate Joe Manchik had 66 votes locally and 1,127 total.
The final totals could rest on more than 8,000 ballots that won’t be tabulated for several more days: those from provisional voters and absentees mailed in from overseas and the military. Once that final total is calculated, Ohio law requires a mandatory recount if the margin is within 0.5 points.
The district covers Delaware, Morrow and Licking counties, along with parts of Franklin, Marion, Muskingum and Richland counties.
Precinct workers from three Morrow County voting locations agreed that the number of voters on Tuesday was more than they anticipated.
Precinct worker Emma Sautter “was surprised at the good turnout for just one thing on the ballot” at North Bloomfield Township East and West precinct. She said there was a constant stream of voters all day for a total of 320 voters in the township.
Gilead Township precinct workers at the Firehouse location said there was a constant and good turnout all day long.
Mount Gilead Village West precinct at Whetstone Industries also saw a steady stream of voters. Both Sharon Kincade and Nancy Grossman were impressed with the continual flow of voters all day.
The Morrow County Board of Elections report was that 29.3 percent of the total number of registered voters in the county voted.
The race for the unexpired term of U.S. representative for 12th district drew national attention recently. President Donald Trump came to Delaware County to give candidate Balderson a boost and national reporters interviewed O’Connor several times leading up to the election.
Pending certification of the results, Balderson will finish the unexpired term of Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Genoa, that expires Jan. 3. Tiberi resigned from his Congressional seat in January to accept a position as the new head of the Ohio Business Roundtable.
Balderson and O’Connor will square off again Nov. 6 in the general election.
MORROW COUNTY RESULTS
Troy Balderson 5,145, 69.95 percent.
Danny O’Connor 2,144, 29.15 percent.
Joe Manchick 66, .90 percent.