Ohio’s 12th District, Long A GOP Stronghold, Tests Trump Support In Suburbs

Ohio's 12th District, Long A GOP Stronghold, Tests Trump Support In Suburbs

Democrat Alaina Shearer, who’s running to unseat Rep. Troy Balderson (R-Ohio), talking to supporters after a march in Delaware. Rep. Troy Balderson (R-Ohio) was on hand to introduce Vice President Mike Pence at an event in Columbus earlier this month. Dustin Johnson and Ashley Dollar showed up to sell buttons. Their sweatshirts are covered in them—one for $5 or three for $10. Dollar says the ones with guns sell best. “The gun rights, Second Amendment for sure,” Dollar says. “This is the one they buy a lot.” “Oh, most definitely,” Johnson agrees. “I think everybody supports the Second Amendment.”Outside, a handful of protesters with signs mingle with the other souvenir sellers. Inside, supporters mill around beneath massive American flags and a steady soundtrack of patriotic country and pop. As he takes the stage, Balderson calls out, “Four more years!” and the crowd echoes it back enthusiastically. Balderson’s road to Congress was a bit unusual. In 2018, he narrowly won a special election to fill a vacancy in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District left by the resignation of Republican Pat Tiberi. Three months later, he was on the ballot again. Ashley Dollar and Dustin Johnson at a rally for Mike Pence in Columbus. Despite a nationwide “blue wave” of voters bucking the presidential administration and backing Democrats, Balderson hung on to his seat, as Republicans swept almost very statewide office in Ohio. Now, in Balderson’s third contest in two years, national politics are again exerting a heavy influence on the race. […]

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