The woman who narrowly lost the Republican primary for central Ohio’s 12th Congressional district will ask for a recount, according to an email from her campaign.
Melanie Leneghan says she plans to request a recount of some precincts in Delaware, Franklin, Licking and Muskingum counties. Leneghan, a Liberty Township trustee, lost Muskingum County to Troy Balderson, a state Senator from Zanesville, by about 3,500 votes, but still told Cleveland.com she was “surprised” by his victory in his home county.
Leneghan also told Cleveland.com she had not heard of any fraud or election problems in those counties.
Leneghan ran as the furthest-right candidate in a crowded Republican primary that included better-known political veterans like state Senator Kevin Bacon, but she still finished a close second to Balderson, who won by 653 votes. Leneghan aligned herself with President Trump in the campaign by using slogans like “Stomp the Swamp.”
Under Ohio law, Leneghan would have to pay for the recount unless the original results were found to be off by at least four percent.
Under the current results, Balderson is set to take on Democrat Danny O’Connor in an August special election to fill the seat through the end of the year. The two meet again in the November election in a contest to hold the seat for the following two years.
The seat was vacated by Pat Tiberi, who stepped down in January to take a private sector job with the Ohio Business Roundtable. Tiberi backed Balderson in the May primary, while central Ohio Congressman and Freedom Caucus founder Jim Jordan supported Leneghan.