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Trump, Pence push Ohio state senator for open US House seat

July 28, 2018
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FILE – In this April 24, 2012, file photo, Ohio state Sen. Troy Balderson, R-Zanesville, asks a question about permit fees for owning exotic animals during an Ohio Senate Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources Committee hearing in Columbus, Ohio. Balderson and Danny O'Connor, a Democrat serving as recorder of Franklin County, Ohio, are running in a special congressional election on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018, to determine who will fill out the final months of the term of former U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi, a Republican who retired in January 2018, before both candidates face off again for the retired lawmaker's seat in the Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, general election. (James Miller/The Marion Star via AP, File)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — President Donald Trump has endorsed a two-term Republican state senator who’s in a closer-than-expected race for an open U.S. House seat in Ohio.

The Republican president tweeted his support for Troy Balderson on Friday. Trump said Balderson is “strong on crime and borders, loves our Military, our Vets and our Second Amendment.”

Balderson, of Zanesville, is working to retain GOP control of the 12th District that Republicans have held for nearly 35 years. U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi (TEE’-behr-ee), a Republican, retired in January after nearly 18 years.

National Democrats are making a last-minute push for candidate Danny O’Connor. National political observers have moved the contest from Republican-favored to a toss-up. O’Connor reported outraising Balderson on Friday.

Vice President Mike Pence says on Twitter he’ll campaign Monday for Balderson in Ohio.

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