Ohio state senator retains GOP hold on open US House seat

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A two-term Ohio state senator who was backed by both President Donald Trump and Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik), a Trump critic, has won a congressional special election, retaining a coveted open House seat for Republicans.

Voters picked Sen. Troy Balderson, of Zanesville, over Democratic Franklin County Recorder Danny O'Connor to complete the unexpired term of ex-U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi, who retired in January. Balderson will face O'Connor again in November for a full two-year term.

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The gridlocked race decided Friday was a test of voter sentiment before November's general election.

Balderson's victory buoys Republicans concerned about how Trump is playing in swing states. But O'Connor was a long shot in the district, held by Republicans for nearly 35 years.

The Republican Kasich represented the district before Tiberi.