Democrat Won't Concede in Ohio Special Election

Republican rival's lead is shrinking
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2018 5:12 AM CDT
Republican's Lead Shrinks in Ohio Special Election
Republican candidate Troy Balderson speaks during a rally with President Trump on Saturday in Lewis Center, Ohio.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

President Trump has already congratulated the Republican candidate in a closely watched special congressional election in Ohio—but election officials say the race has actually tightened. Officials in Franklin County, where Republican Troy Balderson and Democrat Danny O'Connor are competing for a House seat, say they found 588 previously uncounted votes from suburban Columbus precincts, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. The votes gave O'Connor a net gain of 190 votes, leaving Balderson fewer than 1,600 votes ahead in a district that Trump carried by 11 points in 2016. With more than 8,000 provisional and absentee ballots still to be counted, O'Connor hasn't conceded and is continuing to campaign ahead of the November rematch, WCMH reports.

It's a similar story in Kansas, where incumbent Republican Gov. Jeff Colyer is fewer than 200 votes behind conservative Secretary of State Kris Kobach in the GOP primary. "Given the historically close margin of the current tabulation, the presence of thousands of as yet uncounted provisional ballots, and the extraordinary problems with the count, particularly in Johnson County, this election remains too close to call," says Colyer, whose rival was endorsed by Trump. He says he won't start campaigning for the general election until the results are final, though Kobach has already begun campaigning against Democrat Laura Kelly, KSNW reports. Trump, meanwhile, tweeted Wednesday that as long as he supports candidates, "within reason," they will win. He predicted a "giant Red Wave" in November. (More Ohio stories.)

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