President Donald Trump has endorsed state Sen. Troy Balderson for Ohio's 12th Congressional District, saying Balderson "loves our Military, Vets & 2nd Amendment."
The Zanesville Republican is running against Democratic Franklin County Recorder Danny O'Connor in a special election in August and again in the November general election.
In a tweet on Saturday night, Trump calls O'Connor "a Nancy Pelosi Liberal who is WEAK on Crime & Borders." He says Balderson "is the total opposite" and has "my Full & Total Endorsement!"
Troy Balderson of Ohio is running for Congress against a Nancy Pelosi Liberal who is WEAK on Crime & Borders. Troy is the total opposite, and loves our Military, Vets & 2nd Amendment. EARLY VOTING just started with Election Day on August 7th. Troy has my Full & Total Endorsement!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 21, 2018
Balderson and O'Connor will face off in an August 7 special election to fill the unexpired term of former U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi, who retired in January. Early voting for that election began recently, and while O'Connor leads in votes, Balderson maintains a lead in the polls.
The district represents all or part of Delaware, Franklin, Licking, Marion, Morrow, Muskingum and Richland counties. It has been held by a Republican for 35 years - Gov. John Kasich held the seat before Tiberi - but Democrats see it as an opportunity to try and reclaim Congress.