Balderson, O'Connor sprint to photo-finish

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- Republican State Senator Troy Balderson is claiming victory after a close race for the vacant Ohio 12th district congressional seat.

No official winner has been declared as the state looks to see if a recount is needed.

If current results hold, the margin of victory is a narrow one for Balderson who was running to represent a district held by the GOP for over 30 years.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting late Tuesday, Balderson led Democrat Danny O’Connor by around 17-hundred votes.

If declared the winner, Balderson will have to defend the seat this November in the mid-term elections.

President Trump congratulated Balderson, saying it was a great victory during a very tough time of the year.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted says there were 202,738 ballots cast with 37.23 percent turnout in the election.  A detailed breakdown of the unofficial results is available here. 

In Franklin County, the Board of Elections says 71,353 voters or 42 percent of those registered, voted in the special election.

The numbers include 13,632 voting absentee in person or by mail.

The Board of Elections must begin the official canvass of Special Election ballots by August 18 and certify vote totals by August 24.

The candidates are battling for the congressional seat being vacated by Pat Tiberi.

(Photo: Getty Images)

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