Donald Trump has claimed victory for the Republican candidate in a hotly-contested Ohio election, saying his visit to the state helped him come from behind to defeat a tough challenge from his Democrat rival.
Troy Balderson, an experienced Trump loyalist, was narrowly beating Democrat Danny O’Connor in a congressional district held by the Republican Party for more than three decades.
The year’s final special election was seen as a bellwether for Mr Trump’s political clout and the appeal of his signature tax cuts.
The 31-year-old Democrat and 56-year-old Balderson exchanged leads as the votes rolled in, with the Republican ahead by about 700 votes with 95 percent of precincts counted in the fight for a US House of Representative seat.
Although the race was still too close to call, Mr Trump claimed victory and took credit for the Republican’s success.
“When I decided to go to Ohio for Troy Balderson, he was down in early voting 64 to 36. That was not good. After my speech on Saturday night, there was a big turn for the better. Now Troy wins a great victory during a very tough time of the year for voting,” Mr Trump tweeted before the result had been announced. “He will win BIG in Nov.”
The day’s races, which also included contests in Kansas, Missouri, Michigan and Washington state, pitted Mr Trump’s fiery supporters against the Democratic Party’s anti-Trump resistance. But only Ohio will send someone to Congress immediately.
The results help determine the political landscape – and Mr Trump’s standing within his own party – just three months before the mid-term elections in which the Republicans are defending their House and Senate majorities across the nation.
The winner fills the seat previously held by Pat Tiberi, a nine-term incumbent who resigned to take a job with an Ohio business group.
Mr Trump himself campaigned at Mr Balderson’s side just 72 hours before Election Day, a weekend appearance to help energise his loyalists in a district the president carried by 11 percentage points.
And in an election morning tweet, Mr Trump said Balderson would make a “great congressman.”
At times, the race has centred on Mr Trump’s tax cuts as much as the candidates.
Mr O’Connor and his Democratic allies have railed against the tax plan, casting it as a giveaway for the rich that exacerbates federal deficits and threatens Medicare and Social Security.
Mr Balderson and his Republican allies have backed away from the tax plan in recent weeks, training their fire instead on top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi.
Article Source : https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/08/08/donald-trump-claims-victory-republicantroy-balderson-tight-ohio/