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The Latest: 8,000 votes outstanding in Ohio special election

August 8, 2018
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Troy Balderson, Republican candidate for Ohio's 12th Congressional District, speaks to a crowd of supporters during an election night party Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018, in Newark, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Latest on the special election for a central Ohio congressional district (all times local):

12:55 a.m.

Ohio’s elections chief says more than 8,000 potential votes are yet to be tallied in a congressional special election that ended too close to call.

Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted (HYOO’-sted) released the information after Republican Troy Balderson ended Tuesday with a razor-thin lead of about 1,800 votes over Democrat Danny O’Connor.

Husted says 3,435 provisional votes were cast and 5,048 absentee ballots are outstanding. That’s enough for O’Connor, the Franklin County recorder, to potentially pick up enough votes to force a mandatory recount in the 12th Congressional District.

Election boards can’t begin to count those votes until Aug. 18.

The Associated Press does not declare winners in races that go to automatic recounts.

Balderson, a two-term state senator, was backed by President Donald Trump. Trump declared Balderson’s victory on Twitter though the race was too close to call.

Voters are at the polls where President Donald Trump's preferred congressional candidate — and his chief legislative achievement — are about to be tested in battleground Ohio in the season's final high-stakes special election. (August 7)

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11:55 p.m.

Democrat Danny O’Connor is trying to rally his supporters as he’s locked in a close race with Republican Troy Balderson in Ohio’s congressional special election.

O’Connor says, “We’re not stopping now.”

The candidates were locked in a razor-thin contest Tuesday night. There were at least 3,367 provisional ballots left to be reviewed, enough for O’Connor to potentially pick up enough votes to force a recount.

The Associated Press does not declare winners in races subject to an automatic recount.

But Balderson is celebrating, saying he’s ready to get to work in Congress. He says, “America is on the right path and we’re going to keep it going that way.”

The winner takes the seat previously held by Republican Pat Tiberi (TEE’-behr-ee), who resigned in January.

President Donald Trump is taking credit for helping elect Balderson though the race is too close to call.

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11:35 p.m.

Republican Troy Balderson has pledged to “work relentlessly” for constituents while Democrat Danny O’Connor has vowed to “keep fighting” as their congressional special election in Ohio is too close to call.

President Donald Trump and national Republicans declared victory Tuesday on behalf of Balderson, a two-term state senator.

But it was unclear whether an automatic recount might be triggered once provisional ballots were counted.

The race for a coveted open U.S. House seat was viewed as a barometer of voter sentiment headed into November’s high-stakes general election.

O’Connor was viewed as a longshot in a district that has been held by Republicans for three decades and that Trump won by 11 points. The Franklin County recorder finished just behind Balderson.

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11:20 p.m.

The last special election of the year for the U.S. House is too close to call.

With election officials in Ohio done counting Tuesday night, Republican Troy Balderson has a slight lead over Democrat Danny O’Connor in the special election in the state’s 12th Congressional District.

But there are at least 3,367 provisional ballots left to be reviewed. That’s enough for O’Connor to potentially pick up enough votes to force a mandatory recount.

The Associated Press does not declare winners in races that go to an automatic recount.

The race in suburban Columbus was one of the most-watched contests in Tuesday’s primaries as O’Connor tried to pick up a seat long held by the GOP.

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9:45 p.m.

Republican Troy Balderson and Democrat Danny O’Connor are locked in a tight race for a coveted U.S. House seat in Ohio’s congressional special election.

Balderson, a state senator, and O’Connor, the Franklin County recorder, want to complete the term of a Republican who retired in January. The race tests voter sentiment before the general election in November, when Balderson and O’Connor will battle again for the full two-year term.

After an early lead by O’Connor on Tuesday night, he and Balderson were neck and neck.

President Donald Trump campaigned for Balderson, arguing Republicans need to control Congress and casting the midterms as a referendum on himself.

A Balderson victory would buoy Republicans concerned about Trump’s play in political battleground states. An O’Connor win would elate Democrats hoping for Trump backlash.

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8:45 p.m.

Democrat Danny O’Connor has jumped out to a significant lead over Republican Troy Balderson in early returns in Ohio’s congressional special election.

Voters on Tuesday were choosing between Balderson, a state senator, and O’Connor, the Franklin County recorder, to complete the term of a Republican who retired in January. The race is a test of voter sentiment before the general election in November, when Balderson and O’Connor will battle again for the full two-year term.

President Donald Trump campaigned for Balderson, arguing Republicans need to control Congress and casting the midterms as a referendum on himself.

A Balderson victory would buoy Republicans concerned about how Trump might be playing in political battleground states. An O’Connor win would elate Democrats hoping for a Trump backlash.

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8:30 p.m.

Democrat Danny O’Connor has jumped out to a significant lead over Republican Troy Balderson in early returns in Ohio’s congressional special election.

Voters on Tuesday were choosing between Balderson, a state senator, and O’Connor, the Franklin County recorder, to complete the term of a Republican who retired in January. The race is a test of voter sentiment before the general election in November, when Balderson and O’Connor will battle again for the full two-year term.

President Donald Trump campaigned for Balderson, arguing Republicans need to control Congress and casting the midterms as a referendum on himself.

A Balderson victory would buoy Republicans concerned about how Trump might be playing in political battleground states. An O’Connor win would elate Democrats hoping for a Trump backlash.

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8 p.m.

Polls have closed in Ohio, where a Republican state senator backed by President Donald Trump is competing with a Democratic county official in a special election for an open U.S. House seat long held by the GOP.

Voters Tuesday were choosing between Sen. Troy Balderson and Franklin County Recorder Danny O’Connor to complete the term of a Republican who retired in January. The race is a test of voter sentiment before the general election in November, when Balderson and O’Connor face off again for the full two-year term.

Trump campaigned for Balderson, arguing Republicans need congressional control and casting midterms as a referendum on himself.

A Balderson victory would buoy Republicans concerned about Trump’s impact in political battleground states. An O’Connor win would elate Democrats hoping for Trump backlash.

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